It turned out Himesh could only remember HALF of every Beatles song, but that was enough.

YESTERDAY

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. ENGLAND

HIMESH PATEL is a struggling musician who writes SHITTY SONGS that are SHIT.

HIMESH PATEL

My music career sucks. It'll take a MIRACLE to save it.

His manager is LILY JAMES whom you know from that other movie with songs. She pauses building her HIMESH PATEL SHRINE to comfort him.

LILY JAMES

(doe-eyed)

It's okay Himesh. I believe in you.

(literal Valentine's hearts float above head)

HIMESH PATEL

Yep, everything sucks.

HIMESH heads home on his BICYCLE and suddenly ALL THE LIGHTS GO OFF, EVERYWHERE ON EARTH! Even more strangely it is NIGHTTIME EVERYWHERE ON EARTH all at once. But during the brief darkness HIMESH is HIT BY A BUS, and should it have been a MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR BUS? Probably yes.

EXT. RESTAURANT PATIO - SOME TIME LATER

HIMESH survives, having lost two teeth but then getting perfect-looking false teeth and we move on. His FRIENDS give him a new guitar to replace his smooshed guitar.

HIMESH PATEL

A great guitar needs a great first song. And this movie works with literally any world-famous artist, so let's see who we get the rights to...

(pause)

...the Beatles? Nice.

(sings)

Yesterday

That's the film that you saw on the plane

Now the details have all gone away

You vaguely recall Yesterday

FRIENDS

(shit selves)

HIMESH does some GOOGLE SEARCHING and realizes that somehow the world has changed into one where the BEATLES never existed!

HIMESH PATEL

Holy fuck, no Beatles! None of their songs! And no Oasis either I see, har har. None of that exists! Either that, or in this reality Google can't search worth shit.

But further investigation reveals it is THE FORMER!

INT. ENGLAND

HIMESH starts performing BEATLES SONGS but nobody cares.

HIMESH PATEL

This still sucks.

LILY JAMES

(writing "Mrs. Patel" over and over)

That's what YOU think! Some guy with a crappy studio wants to record you!

HIMESH makes a CD of some BEATLES SONGS which is JUST UNCRAPPY ENOUGH to land him a spot on some random local access TV show. Presented with perhaps his ONE AND ONLY SHOT to find an audience, HIMESH decides to perform the ICONIC BEATLES TOP FIVE MEGA-HIT... "IN MY LIFE"? Really?

HIMESH PATEL

(singing)

I know I'm bursting with affection

For Lily, that friend of mine

She gets my heart and cock a-pounding

Oh, Lily, won't you be mine?

(gaze pierces through camera, shattering lens)

LILY JAMES

(swoons)

(books honeymoon)

HIMESH PATEL

(brushing off glass, Lily)

Anyway that sucked ok laters

LILY JAMES

(blinks)

(knocks back bottle of hooch)

It appears that NOBODY KEEPS CARING but one fateful night--

ED SHEERAN

(appearing)

Hello! I heard this movie was looking for a real-life celebrity singer/songwriter/genie so here I am! I think your bargain-basement CD is awesome, please open for me on my tour that begins next week.

HIMESH PATEL

But you have no idea if I have any stage presence, or can even handle crowds that size without freezing up.

ED SHEERAN

Many things have vanished in this world, but "Star is Born" tropes have NOT. C'mon!

HIMESH sings a bunch of BEATLES SONGS to open for ED and the crowd goes WILD as they SEE HIM STANDING THERE!

HIMESH PATEL

(singing)

We could have used Styx or Queen

Or Elvis or Springsteen

Or Nirvana or the Stones

Who really cares?

These blanks in the script need some filler

Ohhhh, so just slot a band in there!

ED SHEERAN

That was awesome. I challenge you to write a better song than I can in ten minutes!

HIMESH PATEL

No problem. Abbey Road has a bunch of short, catchy songs that you could believe a musical genius might be able to crank out in 10 minutes.

(pause)

So instead here's "The Long and Winding Road", just to be an asshole about it.

ED SHEERAN

Welp, fuck my life.

HIMESH keeps bringing out more and more BEATLES SONGS at quite an alarming rate really, like, this has to last the rest of your life y'know. He becomes FAMOUS!

KATE MCKINNON

Hi, I'm Ed's manager and now your manager. I am literally made of money. My skin is thousand-dollar bills and my blood is rare coins. We shall make money together.

HIMESH PATEL

Cool! Wait, Lily is my manager. Hmm. Hmmmmmmm.

LILY JAMES

(angelic smile)

HIMESH PATEL

Well I'm sure it'll be okay.

EXT. LOS ANGELES

HIMESH goes to work for KATE and records MORE HIT BEATLES SONGS, SERIOUSLY FUCKING PACE YOURSELF DUDE!!!

HIMESH PATEL

Hey, I was going to pad things out with Wings songs or other solo projects, but they don't seem to exist in EITHER universe for some odd, copyrighted reason. So tragically, nobody in my world will ever hear "Imagine"! Though in Gal Gadot's case it's probably just as well.

Anyway he becomes MORE AND MORE FAMOUS and his buddy JOEL FRY becomes his one-man entourage.

HIMESH PATEL

Shit I just realized it'll be weird when I start generating songs about places I've never been. Quick, to Liverpool!

JOEL FRY

Oh NOW we're trying to justify your inspiration for the songs? Can't wait to hear you explain the ultra-70s lyrics to "Come Together" especially as we established Coca-Cola doesn't exist anymore either.

EXT. LIVERPOOL

HIMESH and JOEL tour LIVERPOOL and suddenly LILY JAMES is there too!

LILY JAMES

Hi, thought I'd pop round from another part of the country just because.

(flutters eyelashes)

(has "I LOVE YOU" written on eyelids)

HIMESH PATEL

Okay look. The reason I've been so frustratingly oblivious to your affections is ACTUALLY because we've known each other almost our whole lives, so I find it weird. I feel like I should have made that clearer much, much earlier in the movie.

LILY JAMES

Well I've loved you since we were seven years old, I don't care! Which I think is BEYOND clear at this point.

HIMESH PATEL

Wait a sec. We've established you first fell in love with me when I performed "Wonderwall" at school. But we've also established Oasis ceased to exist. So what song do you remember me playing now?

LILY JAMES

That is an excellent question we should never, ever ask.

HIMESH PATEL

Got it. Well let's shag.

LILY JAMES

Uh excuse me? Aren't you heading back to LA tomorrow? This isn't some one-night thing, we might as well do it in the road!

HIMESH PATEL

Oh well hello goodbye then.

LILY leaves but the next morning HIMESH suddenly realizes it's an opportunity for a ROM-COM MAD DASH TO THE TRAIN STATION YAAAY!!! Does he think he's too late but it turns out she's still there? OH YOU KNOW IT!

LILY JAMES

(circling designs in wedding dress catelogue)

Something you want to say to me?

HIMESH PATEL

Um... what if I said, hey I'm rich now, quit your job and come with me.

LILY JAMES

Another excellent question that must not be asked. Sorry Himesh, you must choose.

KATE MCKINNON

(over phone)

GET ON THE PLANE HIMESH, THE LAST FLIGHT TO MONEYLAND IS ABOUT TO DEPART

HIMESH PATEL

Can't I confess my love, say I'll be back in three days, and I'll work from here from now on?

KATE MCKINNON

NOPE CHOOSE ETERNALLY AND FOREVER RIGHT THE FUCK NOW

HIMESH sadly leaves and returns to LA where he is EVEN MORE FAMOUS!

INT. KATE'S OFFICES

KATE MCKINNON

You've given us enough hit songs to fill a career. Any halfwit label would release these a few at a time over dozens of albums to wring every last cent from them, but we all went mad mainlining Ketracel-White and death sticks while you were gone, so we're packing it ALL into one giant double album. Wheeee!

HIMESH PATEL

Aw but I had lots of good album titles too...

KATE MCKINNON

They all suck. For example "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is way too fucking long and confusing. We considered using "Harley Quinn: Sgt. Pepper" but decided that was just lame. "Abbey Road" only makes sense if it was recorded at Abbey Road. "The White Album" only really works coming after a bunch of other albums with super busy covers.

HIMESH PATEL

So...

KATE MCKINNON

So instead the title is "ONE MAN'S VISION: A COLLECTION OF ONE MAN'S SONGS ALL WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY WITH NO HELP BY THIS ONE MAN WHO DESERVES ALL THE CREDIT AND HIS SELF-WORTH SHOULD FOREVERMORE BE INEXTRICABLY LINKED TO HIS SOLE AUTHORSHIP OF THESE SONGS BY HIM". Catchy right?

HIMESH PATEL

(gently weeps)

EXT. ENGLAND

HIMESH arranges for his next concert to be at his HOME TOWN so he can see LILY and also figure out ways to fill time until the END of the movie.

HIMESH PATEL

(singing)

Help! I need a third act!

Help! Not just any plot hack!

Help! How will we reach the end-

Heeelp!!!

LILY JAMES

Hi Himesh. Remember that crappy recording studio guy? I'm with him now, since without your love OBVIOUSLY my only recourse is to throw myself at the first sad sack I find.

HIMESH PATEL

Shit.

HIMESH'S PARENTS

Hello son! We thought we might be an important part of the story, but we're not. Bye!

JOEL FRY

Hey there's two weird fans to see you. They have a mysterious, enigmatic Yellow Submarine... even though that's also a song you've probably used by now since we saw there's only like two UNUSED ones left.

RUSSIAN FAN

Hello. We also remember Beatles. Thank you for bringing songs back, and for NOT bringing 1970s Bee Gees movie back. That suck ass.

BRITISH FAN

It's never explained but I guess we also almost died during that blackout or something? So yeah turns out this movie is also a stealth reboot of The Quiet Earth. Anyhoo just wanted to say thanks, oh and give you this.

(hands over paper)

On the paper is an ADDRESS. HIMESH goes there to find... JOHN LENNON HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!

UNCREDITED ACTOR WHO WORKS WITH DANNY BOYLE A LOT

Out of respect for John I'm not credited in any way, besides if you really care you can find out in 3 seconds on Google.

HIMESH PATEL

This is quite touching, a version of John who lived to a ripe old age.

(smiles)

But are you, like, a Lennon who COULD have been a famous musician and chose not to be? Or is this a version who never even had the ideas for all the songs in the first place? Because-

UNCREDITED ACTOR WHO WORKS WITH DANNY BOYLE A LOT

(shrugs)

I dunno. You might as well ask if Ringo is still out there, toiling away as an unknown session drummer.

(sings)

Imagine I was no one

It's easy if you try

No clingy wife or murder

Just one more average guy

Imagine all the Beatles

Never reaching fame...

HIMESH PATEL

Well that's depressing. But I guess I'm not really ripping off anyone in THIS universe, so that should help my conscience a little bit.

It DOES NOT HELP EVEN ONE TINY BIT and HIMESH goes to the big album launch concert WRACKED WITH GUILT.

HIMESH PATEL

(to crowd)

I have to confess... I didn't write these songs! They were written by John, Paul, George and Ringo, except in this universe they weren't! Oh and also, Miley Cyrus is really Trent Reznor!! Now I'm going to download all the songs for free, fuck you Kate McKinnon!

KATE MCKINNON

So what? By this stage contracts have been signed, copyrights filed. Everything you downloaded still belongs to us. We'll make zillions from reproduction rights, licensing, movie rights, etc. Your big gesture means fuck all.

LILY JAMES

Not quite Himesh! Now that you're some kind of insane scam artist who shamelessly steals from imaginary bands that only you know about, I love you again!

HIMESH PATEL

Yay! I'll live a happy life as an educator, I'm sure schools are tripping all over themselves to hire the world's best-known delusional fraud.

They ARE and he DOES.

END

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