By this point, it’s impossible to match or dethrone a band like The Beatles. They are a group that remains unclassifiable, virtually in a league of their own.
From their early posh years to their chaotic final phase, the band remains uniquely singular regardless of the variety to their style in music, messaging, and fashion.
With an enormous and dynamic history on their sleeves, recapping their history as a group is deemed impossible. Even so, Ron Howard’s The Beatles: Eight Days a Week is a documentary that aims to summarize everything you need to know about The Beatles in two hours or less.
The best comparison for this documentary is that it feels like a coffee table book, an easy-to-browse narration of the band without feeling too excessive or detailed. The transition from their iconic first appearance in the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 to their Shea Stadium concert in 1966 was almost skimmed through as if time was running out.
Despite this, it’s safe to say that Eight Days a Week does not feel rushed as an overall story. One will find an overarching element in The Beatles by watching it, similar to binge-listening to all their albums in one sitting. The remastered songs in the documentary also breathe more differently than ever before, particularly when juxtaposed with the band’s revelation of exhaustion in their busiest times.
Eight Days a Week essentially covers a Wikipedia-type history of The Beatles, and it’s not entirely a bad thing if you’re taking into consideration the viewers who are looking to the film as an entryway to the band. The Beatles is a band that defies norms of music, so it should make a lot of sense for a documentary to offer equally-colorful flavor.
If you’re looking for a different perspective about The Beatles, Eight Days a Week may not be your cup of tea. It narrates familiar historical bits about the band, following major highlights in chronological order. Still, it can be easy to forgive its many shortcomings given the generous amount of footage and interviews, some of which are never-before-seen.