I recently had the pleasure of seeing this documentary. It was more than just a trip down memory lane.
The film follows the Beatles from 1962 to 1966, that period of touring frantically and being mobbed by screaming girls. Much of the footage was originally shot on 35mm film, but has been digitally restored to magnificent 4K resolution.
This movie manages to capture the sheer madness of Beatlemania as it swept the globe.
Not to mention the overwhelming effect it had on the four lads from Liverpool—a working-class town where becoming a musician wasn’t high on most young men’s career choices.
Each one of the group members have interviews, two of which are obviously posthumous. There’s something particularly bittersweet about those interviews with John Lennon and George Harrison.
More than that, what impressed me most was how Paul McCartney described his close relationship with John. You see them writing songs together, in those quiet moments when they can create the music.
I was also extremely impressed with the way the band handled press conferences. They came off cheeky, but not obnoxious. They poked fun as much of themselves as anything else. This got a bit harder toward the end of the touring period. For reasons that become pretty obvious.
You also see the group (behind the scenes and on stage) transform from a close-knit foursome, engaging in antics and having fun, to four people in identical suits and haircuts trying to find their own identities, despite the pressures of fame.
I was impressed with how much the group acted as a team. They voted on all positions the band would take and adopted them only by unanimous vote. Including their bewildered response to racial segregration in the States and refusal to perform before a segregated audience.
The movie had numerous great behind the scenes moments, interspersed with performance footage and scenes from the first two movies.
And although being a Beatle would eventually lose its charm, for those who grew up living the experience, listening to the music was nothing less then euphoric. The legacy of Beatlemania was captured well, not only in the concert footage, but in interviews with people of different races and ethnicities who were enraptured with the group when they were young.
What other movie have you seen recently where the audience sang along with the closing song—“Eight Days a Week”—and knew all the words?
This film a must-see for music lovers! 🙂