Review: Last Night In Soho (18) - Is it So-so?

Edgar Wright's latest film is also his last (in Soho). Does it compliment his already impressive filmography, read on to find out...

Rachel Carron
3rd November 2021
Credit: IMDb
Feeling a lot more like an episode of Black Mirror than his hugely popular comedies like Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007), Edgar Wright’s newest film, Last Night in Soho, plays out as a cautionary tale.

Whilst a rather suffocating film to watch at times, it's one that perhaps perfectly encapsulates the experience of a young woman in 1960s era London. The film follows the story of a fashion student, Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie), aspiring to bring London back to the times of the Swinging Sixties with her love for the era’s music and fashion. But when she has premonitions of Sandy (Anya Taylor-Joy) - an aspiring singer – things begin to devolve.  

Thomasin McKenzie as Eloise, Credit: IMDb

If you value the health of your heart, more than I do, I can't recommend going to see this film by yourself. Whilst an incredibly well-executed film, both visually and in its striking soundtrack, it is an intense and gut-wrenching watch to say the least. Instead of the foreboding sense one might experience whilst watching a horror film where something terrible might happen to the characters, the retroactive nature of this film ensures a powerful sense of dread that something bad will happen. Just like our omnipresent yet powerless protagonist, we are left only to watch as it does.  

Anya Taylor Joy steals every scene she's in

This supernatural twist on the naïve, ambitious young adult who moves to London and is inevitably let down by their grand expectations is brilliantly original yet seems to get lost in itself towards the end of the film. However, Anya Taylor Joy unsurprisingly does not disappoint in her performance, stealing the scene in nearly every instance.  

Anya Taylor Joy's Sandy in Last Night In Soho, Credit: IMDb

Between visions of predatory men of the past and rather menacing female peers of the present, the only character who provides any solace to our protagonist, and very much to the audience, is a black man. The prominent message of the film, albeit a bit heavy-handed, is that we often forget that in the 1960s (a lot like the vast majority of history) life was only truly free and joyous for a wealthy, white man. Wright seems to be heavily heeding a warning of the power of nostalgia. On the same note, Edgar Wright is rumoured to have conceived this film, in part, on the night of the Brexit referendum – a time when we learned the power of ignorant nostalgia.

Definitely worth the watch, but not for the faint of heart.


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