Danny Boyle is known for directing popular films like Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting. His next, Yesterday, is about a man who lives in a world where everyone but him has no memory of The Beatles. Being a struggling musician himself, he passes off their music as his own. He gains fame of course, but ends up living a dual life.
Boyle spoke about the message of the film and said that it’s a love story. “Somebody said something about the number of times the word ‘love’ appears in The Beatles’ songs compared to the Bible. By some extraordinary margin, The Beatles win hands down,” he said
“I hope that’s what people will take out of this film: that it’s a love story. So where better to go for a love story than The Beatles? A dual love story. A love story to this music, which is a part of world culture now, and a beautiful unexpected love story that runs alongside it that benefits from the story arc that takes you on such a roller-coaster journey,” he added.
Since this is a musical film, Boyle had the option of pre-recording the songs but he decided against it. He said, “It’s absolutely normal with a film with a lot of live music in it to pre-record, and then have the actors mime their original recording on-camera. I didn’t want to do that because there are so many technicalities. It’s virtually impossible to get music performed live to sound any good because of background noise. Going out of time, out of tune, so many different things that can go wrong. I was convinced by Himesh’s performance in the audition that we had to record him live.”
Boyle believes that it adds authenticity when actors perform live instead of dubbing. “I hate when actors mime, even though they’ve worked out how to do it brilliantly these days. I feel it’s like an act of miming dialogue. Why would you do that? You need to believe that this moment is happening to that person now for you to witness,” he said.
Starring Himesh Patel, Lily James, Ed Sheeran and Kate McKinnon, Yesterday releases on July 12 in India.