What starts out looking like an amateur high school operetta gradually builds into an unexpectedly mature piece of cinema with strong performances throughout and a soundtrack that makes clever use of all those classic Beatles songs. The musical numbers may not always work but when they do they are bang on thanks in large part to some dazzling visuals and Taymor’s overall sense of artistic restraint. No, there are no amazing plot twists and you can guess how it will all end within the first 15 minutes but it’s the journey itself that is so appealing. For those who would accuse this film of being shallow and dull, may I remind you of that other musical based on the Beatles’ music, 1978’s vomit-inducing “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” featuring the Bee Gees. ‘Nuff said.

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