Shannon’s sidebar: ‘8 Days a Week’ movie review

Shannon Harrar, Centurion Staff

Director Ron Howard received praise for his most recent film, “The Beatles: 8 Days a Week,” which follows the touring years of world famous band, highlighting their fast and glorious rise to fame, and their evolution as one of the world’s greatest bands.
Love them or hate them, you can’t deny how influential of a band they were. If nothing else, Howard’s movie adaptation of the Beatles illuminates how groundbreaking the band was in the 1960s and on.
The success this film has had since opening shows how prevalent the band still is in 2016. According to the LA Times, only three days after the film was released on Sept. 16, it had produced $622,410 on 85 screens across the U.S., including the County Theater in Doylestown.
The film opens up with an interview of Paul McCartney, who is still alive, along with one other member, Ringo Starr. McCartney recalls the early performing years, before it cuts to a remastered video recording of the Beatles playing, “She Loves You,” in front of a crowd of screaming girls. One of the most memorable and entertaining aspects of Howard’s film is the focus on the early Beatles fans. These young girls went absolutely crazy for the band, and there’s plenty of footage of them to show it.
In the film’s radio clip, one broadcaster describes it as the “Beatlemania epidemic,” and claims that the “younger generation is going to hell” because of it. In the beginning, things “were quite simple” as McCartney describes it in an interview.
Howard uses a distinct style throughout the film that serves to animate the band even more. Several photographs come alive on the screen, including a picture of John Lennon with a cigarette in hand, and smoke lazily billowing from the lit end.
Howard also revives old interviews with the band that really bring out their humor. One interview shows George Harrison ashing his cigarette on Lennon’s head, unbeknownst to Lennon, who’s busy spewing out cheeky comments to the interviewer. Little clips, such as these, really show the band for what they were at the time: young, silly, teenage boys.
The film also includes interviews from celebrities such as Whoopi Goldberg, Elvis Costello, and Sigourney Weaver. Goldberg mentions that the Beatles were “colorless,” and credits them for helping her be her own person.
Howard, also known for movies such as “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Apollo 13,” did the band right with this film. With the loss of both Harrison and Lennon, I was expecting there to be bits of the movie reserved just to talk about their influence, but there were not. It focused only on the band, as a whole, and their journey together to the top.
“8 Days a Week” is only playing in select theaters, but if you are a Beatles maniac you definitely need to go out and see this film. It’s a behind the scenes look at their lives during the touring years of one of the most influential bands in history.