★★★★ – “Ron Howard takes us back to one of the most iconic & gruelling periods for The Beatles.”
The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years is directed by Ron Howard and stars Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison.
A compilation of found footage featuring music, interviews, and stories of The Beatles’ 250 concerts from 1963 to 1966.
I was on the fence about watching this film. Luckily I did, as this enjoyable and informative documentary directed by Ron Howard is packed with interviews, stories, unseen footage, historic key moments, and live music.
Eight Days A Week takes us back through time to one of the most iconic and gruelling periods for the greatly respected band, The Beatles.
Howard’s direction ensures the documentary feels consistent and fluent in its storytelling, with almost perfect pacing. Though it kicks off with a rocky start lacking in substance, around 15 minutes later you will be hooked on the old footage and interviews. It’s truly amazing how much archived footage there is, especially in the very early years. There are many shocking and controversial topics discussed throughout, and I found these to be the most interesting and engaging to watch, having been so uninformed before.
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr both lead the film with discussions from their Band’s birth and its impact on culture, to the scandalous and repugnant events that surrounded them. Eight Days A Week is handled much like Dave Grohl’s Sound City, and I imagine that has a lot to do with writer Mark Monroe’s input. It feels extremely grounded and showcases some of the boys’ finest moments together. Never exploiting or mistreating the name, but at the same time isn’t afraid to delve into the more contentious issues.
Between the many tracks that are interspersed throughout the film, there is a soundtrack by Ric Markmann, Dan Pinnella & Chris Wagner that underscores the interviews and at most times feels unnoticeable. This is never an issue, though, as you’d much rather focus on what’s being said than listening for the score. If anything it would serve as a distraction, if it were more “in your face,” so to speak. So instead it’s a subtle direction in ’music bedding’ to aid the stories being told.
Eight Days A Week may not feel as fresh to the hardcore fans as it does to the average viewer, however. I’ve heard that some have seen a lot of the footage in this documentary, therefore labelling it as a ’nostalgic trip’ rather than the much preferred ‘untold story’. That said, anyone who isn’t familiar with The Beatles, or even just the casual fan, will ultimately find it to be an entertaining watch.
Verdict; The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years presents a pleasantly enjoyable insight of the famous four, and though there’s a sense of predictability and an absence of context, it strives to feel fresh. Could a Hollywood biopic tell it better?
The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years – ★★★★ (7/10)