Film Review: ‘Yesterday,’ a rom-com with a soundtrack of Beatles hits

Updated 02 July 2019

Film Review: ‘Yesterday,’ a rom-com with a soundtrack of Beatles hits

CHENNAI: Fantasy plays an important part in English director Danny Boyle’s latest work, “Yesterday” — just as it did in his 2008 drama “Slumdog Millionaire,” which traced the magical journey of two impoverished children in India. “Yesterday” has a liberal dose of the incredible and the ingenious.

Boyle directs a script by Richard Curtis (“Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Love Actually”) in which singer-songwriter Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) is struggling to maintain his career in the face of public apathy. Apart from his best friend and manager Ellie (Lily James), and a few other pals, no one shows any interest in Malik’s music.

But a mysterious worldwide blackout comes as a heaven-sent boon. Mailk gets hit by a bus, and he lands in hospital. When he wakes up, he finds that everyone in the world except for him has forgotten the songs of arguably the most famous pop band in history, The Beatles.

Malik takes full advantage of this collective memory loss, and begins to pass off The Beatles’ hits — “Yesterday,” “She Loves You,” “Let It Be” and more — as his own work.

But “Yesterday” is not a film about The Beatles’ music. The songs are just the vehicle that carries the plot, which has more to do with love and price of fame. Whether by design or accident, Boyle fails to recreate the magical allure of The Beatles performing their songs — perhaps understandably, since it would be near-impossible to replicate the electricity and insanity of their live shows — instead settling for a narrative that winds its way through romance, disappointment, hurt, humiliation and guilt.

Many media outlets, including The Guardian, have branded the film “predictable,” and it is. While audiences will no doubt enjoy the soundtrack and the film’s undeniable feel-good charm, there is no real exploration of the secrets behind “Beatlemania” and how the band managed to capture hearts all over the world as they did.

Nonetheless, “Yesterday” is sugary fun, funny, and will no doubt have you singing along to your favorite Beatles tunes throughout the summer.

British hijab-wearing model Mariah Idrissi has it covered

Updated 17 August 2019

British hijab-wearing model Mariah Idrissi has it covered

  • “Saudi Arabia is a blessed land both physically and spiritually,” Idrissi said
  • “I would love to be a part of changing some of the stereotypes around the country through my work in fashion and film,” Idrissi commented

LONDON: Born in North West London to Moroccan and Pakistani parents, model Mariah Idrissi has made quite a name for herself – starring in campaigns for major high street retailers, hosting TED Talks and sharing snaps of her travels with her 88,000 Instagram followers.
The hijab-wearing model has been vocal about her preference for modest fashion and spoke to Arab News about her style, faith and achievements.
“I wear hijab to represent my faith, my culture, and because I genuinely love the idea of modest dress,” she said. “I think it’s important to feel comfortable in what you wear and also not lose a sense of your personality, hence why there is so much diversity in modest styles.”

Her breakthrough came when she was scouted in a shopping center. She did not think it would lead to anything; however, she was casted for an H&M ad. “The campaign went viral. From that moment I realized how little the media represented Muslims, and if they did it was often negative. That motivated me to continue to pursue a career in fashion and change the narrative around how hijab is viewed in the West,” she explained.
She also gave her first significant public speech in 2016, a TEDxTeen live-streamed to millions, about how modest clothing has now become a trend. Idrissi believes the fashion industry is catering more to women who want modest wear than it did a decade ago.
“I feel it is definitely improving,” she said. “Summertime can still be a little bit of a struggle in comparison to autumn and winter which is cooler, so there is still room for improvement.”

After her breakthrough with H&M, Idrissi went on to participate in projects with leading brands, including MAC Cosmetics and M&S in the Middle East. She also looks forward to working on projects in Saudi Arabia when an opportunity arises.
“Saudi Arabia is a blessed land both physically and spiritually. I feel there is so much potential and opportunity. I would love to be a part of changing some of the stereotypes around the country through my work in fashion and film,” Idrissi said.
She is now working on a few film projects, both features and documentaries, to continue challenging negative stereotypes around Muslims.

Moreover, she aims to inspire other potential modest models and advises them to always ask why before embarking on this path. Asking why has helped her on this career journey because even through difficult times, she was able to push forward.
As her upbringing has taught her, Idrissi is demonstrating that modernity and progression are not in conflict with tradition and customs: They are two sides of the same coin.