Last Night in Soho (2021) Review

Director: Edgar Wright

Writers: Edgar Wright, Krysty Wilson-Cairns

Stars: Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith

RATING: 3.5 Stars

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In acclaimed director Edgar Wright’s psychological thriller, Eloise, an aspiring fashion designer, is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters a dazzling wannabe singer, Sandie. But the glamour is not all it appears to be and the dreams of the past start to crack and splinter into something far darker. – From IMDB

While Tomasin McKenzie continues to prove that she can be the best thing in any film she stars in, I found the rest of ‘Last Night in Soho’ to be entertaining, but it ultimately failed to reach those lofty heights that I set for it. I managed to avoid even the tiniest of spoilers for the plot, so I went in knowing next to nothing about what the film was actually about, which was the way I wanted it. But by about the two thirds mark I had pretty much figured the whole thing out, and was sitting around waiting for the characters to catch up with me. As the big mystery was the selling point of the film, for me to have figured out the reveal way before the end was a bit of a let down.

McKenzie is clearly the star of the show, bringing a fantastic performance, even if I did feel that her character was a little underdeveloped and underwritten. Anya Taylor Joy was fantastic while she was given something to do on screen, but after the first hour or so, her involvement is limited to a lot of standing around looking menacing and or walking, not the most effective situation for an actress to show her skills.

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Visually the film is spectacular. The sixties visuals are bright and lively, then get darker and seedier as the story progresses. The same could be said for Ellie herself, who starts off shy and conservative, but as she gets drawn into Sandie’s world, she too goes through a transformation. There are some gorgeous camera shots throughout and some really effective uses of lighting as well. There is some great creepy atmosphere created, the spook factor not relying to heavily on corny jump scares, which is always a bonus.

Of course Edgar Wright uses music to the fullest of it’s ability, something that he is great at doing, and the sixties soundtrack was just delightful. But none of these things can detract from the fact that at times, this film just felt too long. Which should be the case for a film coming in at just over 1hr 40mins, but it did feel much, much longer. Ellie’e abilities are never really explained or talked about at all really, it is just a plot device to enable the two worlds to intertwine, and I feel this element could have done with some elaboration.

Overall, I didn’t love this as much as I wanted to, but it was a great creepy watch for the Halloween weekend, I do recommend it if the trailer intrigued you.

‘Last Night in Soho’ is showing in UK cinemas now!

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