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Review: An amusing 'Eight Days a Week' with the Beatles

Budi Iskandar
Budi Iskandar

Calls himself a Beatleholic

Jakarta  /  Tue, October 25, 2016  /  03:29 pm
Review: An amusing 'Eight Days a Week' with the Beatles

Eight Days A Week (Apple Corps/File)

“I saw a film today, oh boy” Well actually, it was quite recently. 

Eight Days a Week is a new documentary about the Beatles, particularly about the first half of their short but amazing career, and more specifically about their life on the road.

The Beatles quit touring in 1966, less than four years after releasing their first single "Love Me Do". The world still wanted to see them, but they felt the audience didn’t really come to hear their music. And after 815 shows in 15 countries, the whole touring routine got laborious, not to mention dangerous in some cases. 

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Acclaimed director Ron Howard captures it wonderfully in this film. He lovingly restored and remastered old footage that most Beatlemaniacs have already seen and added some new footage, mostly from fans who attended a particular concert. The sights are superb, but the sounds are equally wonderful thanks to the brilliance of Giles Martin, son of Beatles record producer George Martin.

The film shows the four Liverpudlian lads conquering the world armed with extraordinary talents, and a good dose of wit. They were boys who became men in the eye of the Beatlemania storm. And what madness it was!

Since this is a Beatles-sanctioned project, everything is kept neat and fairly clean. No mention of bickering, creative differences or even groupies. The two remaining Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, give candid accounts of their travel tales, supported by the late John Lennon and George Harrison via sound bites. There are other materials from Beatles insiders and fans alike, with the most memorable being from Whoopi Goldberg. And who knew that there’s footage of a young Sigourney Weaver among the adoring girls at the Hollywood Bowl concert?

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The Beatles wanted the world, had it in the palm of their hands, only to find out that it wasn’t what it all cracked up to be. Thankfully, they still had creativity to burn in putting out just some of the most remarkable studio albums ever, after quitting touring.        

With the market’s appetite for anything Beatles still strong even almost half a century after they broke up, we may see (or hear) more from them in the near future. A remastered Let It Be movie is long overdue.

So, from the Cavern to Candlestick Park, Eight Days a Week is a roller coaster ride that will put a smile on your face. Oh, and please remain seated when the end credit title rolls.  

Eight Days a Week is currently playing at several local theaters.



Budi Iskandar calls himself a Beatleholic. He is also a foodie (but who isn’t nowadays?), and a bit of a traveler, money-permitting. Find him on his Twitter and Instagram accounts @guitariskandar. 

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