The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years | Review

Historical One Direction band (haha), The Beatles, has a new documentary out that is screening for this weekend ONLY in Australia, before releasing on home entertainment. THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS has a very big drawcard though, besides The Beatles themselves and the incredibly insane craze-inspiring music, Ron Howard himself steps to the plate and directs. THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS is releasing from StudioCanal Australia, runs for 138mins and is rated M. Enjoy Kernel Jack’s review, the only Kernel who could be in a boy band :). All My Loving…….I am the Walrus!

BY JACK DIGNAN

Paul, Ringo, John and George. The Beatles. The most well known band of all time. What makes them so popular, though? Why do people go crazy upon hearing their songs? What makes teenagers faint once they start singing? What makes The Beatles The Beatles? In this new documentary, THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS (that is quite the handful to write), a lot of these questions are asked, and the outcome of these questions is an insightful and entertaining look into the lives of four young musicians who were just trying to make a living and have a good laugh.

 

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years Movie and Historic Beatles image

 

WHAT TO EXPECT:

Upon hearing that THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS was to be released, directed by Ron Howard no less, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Of course, I was excited. Every Beatles fan should be. But there are so many possibilities on what the documentary could cover. It could tell things from the beginning, going all the way through their career and glossing over all the smaller details, or it could focus in on a particular, important event in their career, such as their break-up or beginnings or their impact on modern culture.

There’s a lot to choose from, and instead of focusing on just one of the listed options (trust me, there’s a lot more they could’ve done), the film decides to combine them all in a narrative that focuses in on the Beatles as human beings. Going on tour around the world, particularly the concerts between 1963 and 1966. It focuses in on who they are as people and the impact touring had on them, both publically and personally. It goes through their origins, their rise to fame and, of course, eventual split. But there’s so much more to it as well. It paints them as real, fleshed-out individuals, flaws and all. And as it turns out, there’s a whole lot more to going on tour than just sex, drugs and rock & roll.

 

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years Movie and Historic Beatles image

 

WITH GREAT MUSIC COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY:

It takes a lot to be a musician. It may sound like a stress free, fun and relaxed career, but as evidenced in this movie, it’s far from it. With great music, there must also come great responsibility (ED’s NOTE: BOOM Spidey), and it’s an aspect of the documentary that I found extremely fascinating. These people aren’t just casually singing songs to their fans; they’re cutting deep into their hearts. They’re serving as an inspiration to millions of people, and we even get to hear from some celebrity fans that were affected by The Beatles’ music.

An interview with Whoopi Goldberg hit me especially hard, as it showcased how music, especially music this good, was capable of transcending race. It was capable of putting aside racism, even just for a moment, and creating happiness instead. There’s a scene later into THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS where The Beatles explained how they refused to play at a concert if there was to be racial segregation amongst the crowd, and it just goes to show that while they appear to be simply musicians, they have a much higher social influence than they realise, and this even managed to get them into trouble from time to time.

 

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years Movie and Historic Beatles image

 

GENERIC STYLE:

I do love a good documentary, and THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS is rather entertaining, but a documentary has to do something really special in order for me to leave going “wow. That was something else.” It has to go up and beyond what it was trying to achieve in order for me to fall in love with it. For me at least, I don’t find documentaries all that rewatchable. They’re good one time viewings, and it’s rare that I find a documentary I love so much that I’d be willing to watch it again. That could be considered strange, or maybe I just haven’t found the right one. THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS (that’s still such a pain to write) is, unfortunately, not one that made me leave in awe, counting down the days until I could see it again.

The story of the Beatles is an exciting one, and seeing these four young men interact was, to my surprise, rather fun. They’re cheeky young individuals doing this all for a laugh, and they each have unique personalities. It was entertaining, and the story that goes with it is also extremely interesting, but as a documentary, it’s just a bit generic. It’s well made, there’s no denying that, but it’s just a basic, Wikipedia-like recap of what they all went through, with the occasional bit of insight from Paul and Ringo. Nothing about the way this story is presented seemed to blow me away. It was all ground that has already been covered and that was rather unfortunate.

 

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years Movie and Historic Beatles image

 

IN CONCLUSION:

Beatles fans everywhere should gather around in excitement as THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS, which is playing for just one weekend only, is definitely going to be worth your time. Enthusiasts may not learn an awful lot that they probably haven’t heard before, but newcomers and casual fans will get a quite a lot out of it. Plus, you can’t really complain when the soundtrack is comprised entirely out of Beatles songs. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Also, for those who are seeing THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS in its limited theatrical run this weekend, make sure you stay around after the credits as, not only do the credits feature some great Beatles songs and a very funny recording, but there’s also a 4K restoration of their concert at Shea Stadium, which is a must see for every music lover.

 

3 and a Half Pops

 

 

YOUR REVIEWER:

When he’s not spending an embarrassing amount of hours browsing through Netflix, Jack Dignan dedicates his time to reviewing movies of all genres and languages, and has done so since 2012. He also maintains a website of his own – www.directorscutmovies.com – and ever since their interview, he’s been best friends with Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino just doesn’t know it yet. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.

 

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