If I could live any place and any time, I’d live here, in London. In the sixties.Eloise, Last Night In Soho
Last Night in Soho is a psychological horror movie directed by Edgar Wright. Released theatrically on 29th October 2021, with a running time of 1 hour and 56 minutes. The screenplay is by Wright and Krysty Wilson-Cairns and the story is by Wright. It mainly gathered positive reviews from critics and audiences alike for its production design, cinematography, and strong performances. However, the script got certain negative views too. In this thriller, slasher fantasy and ghostly magic combine together.
The cast includes Thomasin McKenzie as Eloise “Ellie” Turner, Anya Taylor-Joy as Sandie, Diana Rigg as Ms. Collins / Ellie’s landlady, Matt Smith as Jack, Terence Stamp as Lindsay, Michael Ajao as John, Rita Tushingham as Margaret “Peggy” Turner, Jessie Mei Li as Lara, Synnøve Karlsen as Jocasta, Margaret Nolan as Sage Barmaid, and Pauline McLynn as Carol.
This is a fable designed to spin the head. It twists in minutes from retro fun to a thriller fantasy. In the entire film, shadows of the past continuously hover. Last Night In Soho movie is about nostalgia for the decade not witnessed. This nostalgic feeling has a tint of danger as Ellie’s dreams soon turn into nightmares that start haunting her waking hours too. This movie is Edgar Wright’s most personal film to date. The manner in which the director has recreated the historical UK culture is intoxicating for the viewers. It boasts has an excellent soundtrack from that era, and the chic retro costumes create a magical effect.
What is ‘Last Night In Soho’ all about?
The story is about Ellie Turner, a modern-day young woman with special psychic powers. She is a fashion student who is in love with the music and fashion of the lively ’60s of London. Her dream is to become a fashion designer. She arrives in London to study fashion and stays at a bedsit. One night in her dream she gets mysteriously transported back in time back to the 1960s. There she starts experiencing the life of another woman named Sandie, a famous nightclub singer. In her dreams, Ellie sees the horror of Sandie’s life. Inside the dark life of London, Sandie soon falls prey. Later, her boyfriend Jack kills her.
Ghosts of Jack and Sandie’s abusers haunt Ellie, and she decides to avenge Sandie’s death. However, after Lindsey dies due to Ellie’s misunderstanding, she becomes shattered and decides to leave London. Later Ellie gets to know that Ms. Collins is Sandie and she has killed Jack and other abusers. While Ms. Collins attempts to kill Sandie, a fire breaks out at her home, and Ms. Collins willingly dies. After some days, Ellie is seen enjoying the success of her designer dresses. Ellie witnesses a vision of her mother in a mirror and also a vision of Sandie. The latter waves at Ellie and gives her a flying kiss.
Though Last Night In Soho finds it difficult to keep up its thrilling initial momentum, this movie is Wright’s most stylish and ambitious project. This film has ample thrills, fun, and chaos. There are gorgeous performances. Despite this, the plot falls apart in the second half. Edgar Wright is extraordinary in mashing up different genres. This psycho-thriller movie is a horror flick that romanticizes as well as criticizes a fabulous, grotesque past in London. However, compared to other films in this genre, this time-hopping movie is not as scary.
Though the movie frustrates at times, the ‘belongingness’ which Eloise feels is both passionate and can’t be escaped. For some viewers, it might be overwhelming or underwhelming due to multiple interlinked themes, references, and motifs in this movie. In terms of setting, this film is visually delightful, moody, and rich in atmosphere. The camera effects are worth mentioning as it creates a perfect illusion of Sandie on one side of the mirror and Ellie on the other side, two exactly opposite characters.
Last Night In Soho is a slow-burn movie about an intimate plot that quickly turns into mind games and horror. Another praise-worthy element of this film is its camera movements, along with the visual effects and editing. The plot unfolds in both the present era and the Swinging ’60s, portrayed in a manner that is filled with energy, style, and fashion. The camera-work makes the audience travel between two worlds gracefully. There are some flaws, but the originality and ambition of the film deserve a watch.