Reviews: A Hard Days Night

Fun showcase of 60s pop culture

"A Hard Day's Night" is the Beatles' first theatrical film, and, in my opinion, it is by far their best. True, it may not be great art, but it's certainly great fun.

There isn't really much of a plot; it's mostly just the Beatles running around and having a good time. But that's by no means a weakness; believe it or not, the simplistic story only makes the movie better. Instead of following complicated going-ons, we're able to focus completely on the spirit of the swingin' 60s, and that spirit is everywhere in the movie.

Considering how one-of-a-kind the movie is, it's hard to define "A Hard Day's Night." But it's basically a comedy, and thanks to both writing and acting, it works very well as one. A lot of the jokes come from the Beatles' carefree, unconcerned attitudes, as well as the constant wordplays ("Do you see your father a lot?" "No, we're just friends."). All of the comedy works, but the best part has to be the character of Paul's immature pervert of a grandfather, who for whatever reason is constantly described in-universe as a "clean old man." The humor is distinctly 60s, yet it still feels fresh and original to this day.

And of course, this being a Beatles movie, no review would be complete without a mention of the music. As usual, the songs are top-notch; this being the Beatles' early era, they're pretty light and happy in tone, but this does not detract from their brilliance. The title tune is of course a classic; "I Should Have Known Better" and "Can't Buy Me Love" are also personal favorites of mine. Really, none of the songs make all that much sense in the context of the movie, but since the film doesn't take itself seriously in the first place, this only makes it funnier.

All in all, "A Hard Day's Night" is ridiculous. I can't figure out whether it's incredibly smart or incredibly stupid, but whatever the case, it's incredibly enjoyable. A must-watch for any fan of the Beatles, or of the 1960s in general.
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