‘Last Night In Soho’
Directed by: Edgar Wright
Written by: Edgar Wright (story) & Krysty Wilson-Cairns (screenplay)
Starring: Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Diana Rigg & Terrance Stamp.
I’m going to start right out of the gate by letting you know that ‘Last Night In Soho‘ will undoubtedly make my “Top 5 Films of 2021” list. I enjoyed it that much! The reasons why I enjoyed it are as multilayered as the movie itself. It starts out with a girl named Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie) who gets accepted to a prestigious London fashion school. Initially feeling like she doesn’t fit in with her more suburban and cool classmates, she ends up moving out of the dormitory and into a room for rent owned by the elderly, no-nonsense Ms. Collins (Diana Rigg). Soon she starts to have vivid hallucinations of being a young woman named Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy). Sandie is a confident, determined, aspiring singer and performer AND… she exists in the 1960’s. Somehow, Eloise is able to experience everything that happens to Sandie as she meets dashing nightclub promoter Jack (Matt Smith) who promises to help Sandie become a star. However, things soon take a dark turn and not only does Eloise also see and experience all of the bad that happens to Sandie along the way, she begins to feel her own sanity waiver as shades of the past begin to creep their way into Eloise’s present day.
The film is a spellbinding, breathless nail-biter. It’s fast-paced, dynamic and has some stunning visuals that make you feel like you’re in the middle of someone’s fever dream. There’s always enough happening to keep you interested and I found the characters to be very well-written. ‘Last Night In Soho’ is both directed and scribed by Edgar Wright and I think that is an asset that he is in both of those chairs as the entire movie feels distinctly his which only adds to it’s edge. Huge credit also goes to the director of photography, Chung-hoon Chung, who has demonstrated that he knows how to use cinematography to great effect in such films as ‘It’ and ‘Hotel Artemis’ to really ramp up the tension and suspense – and there is no shortage of either in this film! To go along with such stunning visuals, there is a phenomenal soundtrack that immediately makes one want to run out and purchase it and the music blends into the tapestry of the story as the movie phases back and forth between the 1960’s and present day. While it’s sad to remember that this is Dame Diana Rigg’s last film, it is good to know that she left the world with this final, powerful performance. Anya Taylor-Joy is excellent as always and I was very impressed by Thomasin McKenzie, having only seen her previously in 2019’s ‘Jojo Rabbit’. It was also nice to see a bit more range from Matt Smith as he tries to shake his “Doctor Who” persona in favor of darker roles.
Overall, I can say that this movie is definitely worth your time to go see! It was thoroughly enjoyable and it pulls you along on an intriguing, original and well-executed story that demands a second and even a third viewing! (I’ll be going back later this week.) On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a solid 9 and would highly recommend getting out to see it on the big screen this weekend!