Published on November 8th, 2021 | by Blake Morrow0
Last Night in Soho
While it’s not without its faults, Edgar Wright’s film, Last Night in Soho is a cinematic, genre-twisting ride through London in the 60s and beyond.
Last Night in Soho is a reality-bending, time-hopping romp through 1960’s London and the latest stylish treat from writer-director Edgar Wright. Aspiring young student Eloise, played by Thomasin McKenzie, moves from rural England into London for fashion school. What starts as an exciting new journey quickly turns sour as she faces isolation in the big city. That is before she moves into her flat in Soho, a London neighbourhood which was the center of the fashion and entertainment universe in the sixties. At night she begins to see the past of Sandie, an aspiring singer and dancer played by Anya Taylor-Joy, who shared the same bedroom as her back in the day. The two go on a journey through a rose-coloured dream of Soho that becomes more and more sinister the deeper they go into the district’s underbelly.
Unsurprisingly, Wright has once again delivered an absolute feast for the eyes. The fashion school angle allows carte blanche for the cool sixties style of Soho to permeate the costumes and sets of the film. A lot of fun is had with the soundtrack as well as Wright takes full advantage of some of the period’s greatest hits to flesh out the world. In addition, Last Night in Soho’s editing is as sharp and brilliant as ever. Wright had a crystal-clear vision of how he wanted the film to look in the cutting room and the end result is a thrill ride that flows as smooth as glass. So many wonderful visual motifs are layered in to communicate the chaos and paranoia as the line between past and present grows increasingly fractured. Both leads are terrific but it’s Thomasin McKenzie who is absolutely phenomenal as the mild-mannered Eloise. Her descent into the madness of sixties Soho is easily one of this year’s best performances.
The potential for a masterpiece I was feeling in the first half sadly began to fade the more the story unfolded. As someone that loves going in cold to movies, the film’s trailers definitely sapped some of the suspense out of the story for me. There were still plenty of twists and turns to be had, but a lot of them were predictable and even bordered on goofy. Despite that, I consider Wright to be a visuals-first director and he’s as good in that department as he ever has been. Part-mystery, part-horror, all-style, Last Night in Soho still manages to be a lot of fun and one of the most purely cinematic experiences of the year.