As a 16mm cinema verite of four rock musicians in a studio jamming a bit, trying to get their music together, clowning and rapping a little, and finally doing a brief concert, Let It Be is a relatively innocuous, unimaginative piece of film. But the musicians are the Beatles.
Through the studio session, Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono is always present – close at hand, silent, not participating, yet somehow distracting Lennon, splitting his attention. The Beatles’ past togetherness, the chummy camaraderie, the quickness to seize on a line and build a series of gags, is no longer there.
After the prolonged musical teasing, the film finally settles into a studio concert with ‘Two of Us’ and Paul McCartney’s ‘Let It Be’. Then the concert moves onto a London roof with a half-dozen numbers while cameras cutaway to the gathering traffic jam in the street below.
The outdoor photography, shot with available light under an overcast sky, is muddy, and the long lens close-ups shot from the surrounding roofs, are off-focus.