Backbeat is a fascinating drama, directed by Iain Softley, about the early ‘Hamburg’ days of the Beatles, when in 1960, Pete Best (Scot Williams), John Lennon (Ian Hart), George Harrison (Chris O’Neill), Paul McCartney (Gary Bakewell), and Stuart Sutcliffe (Stephen Dorff) moved there for a residency at The Indra and Kaiserkeller Clubs.
The film focuses on Stuart, the band’s original bassist, and his relationship with John and the beautiful German photographer Astrid Kirchherr (Sheryl Lee).
Paul has little respect for Stu’s abilities, however John insists Stu stay in the band. Paul complains that “He just stands there…” John replies: “But it’s the way he stands there!”. Stu also struggles with a choice between the band and his art – he is undoubtedly more talented as a painter – as well as a choice between his friendship with John and his affair with Astrid, becoming increasingly detached from the band.
With a great soundtrack and pristine performances, this will be a must see for Beatles fans as well as anyone interested in the little known story of Sutcliffe and Kirchherr.