A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

by George Watches Things

****

This movie is magical. I want to see it again. I think, easily, it would be in my Top 3 (of all-time). By the way, if you haven’t ever heard of The Beatles, then you should stop reading, and go fix that.

On this blog, I’ve focused quite a bit on “different” movies. From The Tree of Life, to Dogtooth… even one I didn’t like, Being John Malkovich. These movies are all strange: The Tree of Life has no plot, Dogtooth is like being murdered by an Austro-Chinese transgender prostitute while you’re shopping at Wal-Mart (in the sense that you’re not quite sure… um…), and Being John Malkovich is just so weird that it’s off-putting. A Hard Day’s Night, while better than all three, but not as eccentric, wild, or just plain crazy as some other films, is unique. I’ve never seen anything like it. (That is rapidly going to become a cliche with me.)

It stars (who else) John, Paul, Ringo, and George, and the whole movie is just them doing exactly what they want. There is no plot, per se, but rather the film is kind of a “two days in the life” experiment. And it works incredibly well. There are little moments, usually of humor, some dark, some light. Paul repeatedly repeating the phrase “we’re just good friends,” the girl in minute 84 who pitifully mouths the name “George,” and the sweater. And then there are big moments, such as the field scene, filled with joy and the feeling that there are only four other people in the world other than you, and they all have funny haircuts.

I hate musicals. But thankfully, A Hard Day’s Night isn’t a musical. The music, miraculously, is inserted naturally, and the movie ends with a concert that I enjoyed very much… more than I should have, considering that I hate watching people sing and dance in movies.

The dialogue was sharp. The characters cared for each other. Those two things really won me over. I could list a few quotes, but that wouldn’t really do them justice. We all know The Beatles split up, after 27 number one hits in the US and UK combined, none-the-less. But I can’t actually believe that they did, after watching this film. They pick on each other, but it’s funny and heart-warming. Damn it, Yoko, why did you do it?!?!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the grandfather.

(A Hard Day’s Night is available now on Netflix Instant, and if you see it and enjoy it, you’ll probably enjoy some of their music. Their compilation album “1” is a good place to start.)

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