Starring: Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith
Director: Edgar Wright
Running Time: 116 mins
Last Night In Soho is a British film about an aspiring fashion designer who moves to study at university in London, but soon becomes consumed by a young woman and her life in the fashionable but dark underworld of Soho in the 1960s.
A dazzlingly vivid portrayal of London, an emotionally captivating and thought-provoking pscyhodrama, a visually magnificent production and yet another home run for director Edgar Wright, Last Night In Soho is an absolutely mesmerising watch, and easily one of the best films of 2021.
I loved every minute of Last Night In Soho, a film that evolves and changes a lot over its 116-minute runtime, but always has a trick up its sleeve as it takes bold and thrilling turns at every step.
There’s so much that makes this film such a dazzling watch, but we’ll start with the brilliant lead performances from Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy, whose fantastic energy makes this movie an enthralling watch from the first minute they arrive on screen.
While Edgar Wright impressively directs a whole ensemble cast here, McKenzie and Taylor-Joy are the real standouts, each delivering genuine yet exciting and mysterious performances that bounce off and parallel one another brilliantly throughout.
That plays into the film’s captivating psychological element, as we see young Thomasin McKenzie in modern-day London become obsessed with Taylor-Joy, an aspiring singer whose dreams take a dark turn when she finds herself caught up in the underbelly of Soho in the swingin’ sixties.
Not only does Last Night In Soho brilliantly balance its focus on modern-day London and that of yesteryear, but it uses parallels in geography, style and essence to great effect, bringing that into the central character story at hand and pulling you ever deeper into what starts out as a dazzling whirlwind, but becomes something rather a lot more challenging.
The first act of this film is exciting, vibrant and wonderfully imaginative, capturing the wide-eyed innocence of a country girl arriving in the big city for the first time. But beneath the superficial thrill of a lively London lies a dark reality, which Last Night In Soho handles in a uniquely lively way, but also with riveting, thought-provoking dramatic depth.
While never ignoring the gritty, sobering and desperately depressing reality of the industry that underpinned Soho in the ’60s, director Edgar Wright brilliantly keeps the energy and pizzazz that makes this movie so electrifying even through its darkest moments.
That makes for an exhilarating blend of disturbing drama, eye-catching style and even some darkly funny moments that build and build and build as we see the psychological state of our main characters deteriorate.
While Last Night In Soho may be all The Look Of Love on the surface, it’s rather more similar to Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, using its setting to brilliant effect as it turns from a dark love letter to London into a maddening psychological thriller that never lets up until the last minute.
Bathed in spectacular colours, featuring gorgeous cinematography and a memorable soundtrack, Edgar Wright leaves no stone unturned when delivering yet another feast for the senses after the rocking rollercoaster that was Baby Driver.
But with a bold combination of dark, sobering drama and high-octane, lively and dazzling thrills, Last Night In Soho offers up an entirely unique viewing experience, that’s simultaneously huge fun to watch while being immensely insightful and thought-provoking in its subject matter.
Bolstered by a whole host of fantastic performances, this is an absolutely exhilarating watch from start to finish, and that’s why I’m giving Last Night In Soho an 8.8 overall.