On a warm night this past week, I sat down with my family to watch a movie recommended to us by our cousins. All we knew was that it was a story about a man that knew The Beatles’ songs and nobody else did. But, it turned out to be so much more.
Jack Malik, a struggling musician is trying to find something to write that will make him the next big thing. But, he finds that he writes songs that are mediocre with a mediocre rhythm and sound — something that isn’t catching the public’s ears.
The movie starts with Jack Malik playing on a deserted street, with only one person to be found: his best friend, Ellie. He then plays at a bar where only his friends recognize his existence. He is living with a day job at a grocery store, and a night job as a struggling musician with big dreams.
“We’re in a little story and it ends now,” Jack said to Ellie after a festival failure. “I think I hear something special in my songs, you think you hear something special, and I love you for it. But no one else does. No one ever has. If it hasn’t happened by now, it’s not going to. It’ll take a miracle.”
To his surprise, the proceeding events contradict his whole outburst.
After a power outage, of what seems to be the whole world, and an injury during the process, Malik doesn’t notice anything different until he is asked to sing a song for a small group of his friends. He leaves the group in awe after singing “Yesterday,” one of The Beatles most famous songs.
In that moment, it was brought to his attention that his small audience had no idea who The Beatles were. From there, he went looking for evidence of The Beatles. He found nothing.
He uses this to his advantage and memorizes every single piece The Beatles ever made in order to become the hit new singer everyone is talking about. Ellie helps find Gavin, a lonely man that wants to help Jack by lending him his studio to record his music.
The scene through the movie excited us and made us feel like we were right there with him, recording his music, getting inspired to do more.
He is then given the chance to present his music on television and is recognized by Ed Sheeran who becomes his connection into the music business. From there, it is just a matter of time before he is the biggest hot shot around the world.
But, this movie isn’t just about the music. It is about love. Ellie, Malik’s best friend who he has known all his life, has this secret love for him. He supports his dreams through it all — from playing in bars with no audience, to being in a real stadium with thousands of people — she is there. And even when he travels around the world, he knows that the one person who is always thinking of him, is Ellie.
The big moment that opened Jack's eyes and left all of us leaning in for more was when his family had a small party to celebrate him leaving to go on tour. Jack goes upstairs to finish packing and Ellie accompanies him and brings up something she probably never would’ve if she was sober.
“You’re leaving so I can ask you anything,” she said as she stared at his wall that was covered with sticky notes in columns. “ How did I get in the wrong column? How did I get in the ‘friend, manager, roadie’ column, instead of the ‘And I Love Her’ column?”
This scene left a silence through out our whole house, and I can imagine many others’. It left Jack speechless and Ellie with no answer before Jack left for Los Angeles with no plan of coming back anytime soon.
Later, Jack and Ellie meet again and he has finally come to his senses. He wants to love Ellie and be with her. But, Ellie has had a change of heart. This left my family extremely frustrated. I remember my dad getting up out of frustration and saying that there was no way they could be together.
Whether we wanted to accept it or not, Jack and Ellie were at two different stages in their life that didn’t work.
The rest of the movie is filled with this deep guilt that Jack has: The idea that at anywhere at anytime, he could be labeled a fraud. He has nightmares, one of the craziest being where he imagines himself on “The Late Late Show With James Corden.”