"A Hard Day's Night" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
It's always fun watching a band enjoying themselves, and "A Hard Day's Night" is a prime example of this. This was the first feature film to star the Beatles, and we see what two days in the life of the most famous rock band was like.
This film is labeled as a "mockumentary", and I'm sure this is where "This Is Spinal Tap" got their inspiration from. It's smart, it's witty, and extremely enjoyable throughout the whole hour and a half run time.
What I love about this film is that it doesn't take itself seriously. Opposite of Elvis's charm and "good-boy attitude" in his films, the Beatles looked like clones but they were each a distinctive, separate character. You didn't have a problem telling which was which just based on each one's hilarious distinctions. There are a number of quirky scenes and segments throughout the film. Consider the scene where Ringo runs away from the band on advice from Paul's grandfather (Wilfrid Brambell). What follows is Ringo walking aimlessly around town, doing unconventional activities that only a character in a comedy would do.
There is a ton of energy in this film, as evident in the first scene where the Beatles run away from a crowd of roaring young girls. There are numerous camera cuts in all different directions, and there is so much excitement in the opening scene of this film. This continues on when the Beatles are frolicking and playing around in a field, singing "Can't Buy Me Love". You can see the happiness and excitement behind the characters, and you can't help but feel the happiness they feel.
The music is absolutely amazing in this film, which is pretty self-explanatory if you've ever listened to the Beatles. The music was taken from their "A Hard Day's Night" album, and heavily featured the songs "And I Love Her", "Can't Buy Me Love", the titular song of the film, and more.
The concert scenes at the end of the film are undoubtedly the best scenes in the film, especially when they perform "She Loves You". Director Richard Lester shows how much fun the band is having; grinning while they play the song together. He intercuts these shots with shots of the audience, which are mostly young girls. They are absolutely losing their minds over the four young men on stage, and are screaming and sobbing while they play. They cause an excitement and frenzy so electric, it feels like you're actually with them in the crowds.
Lester has gone on to make other Beatles films, and has made other blockbusters such as "Superman III". He is considered one of the most influential directors in the 60's, and it's easy to see why when watching this film.
Seeing the Beatles as the young and happy group they once were causes a feeling of ecstasy in the audience. The Beatles will have a long and hard road ahead of them, full with sadness and loss; especially the murder of John Lennon. But by watching this film, you can forget all of that and just enjoy the innocence and excitement of these young musicians, even if it's for a brief moment in time.