oliverloch’s review published on Letterboxd:
Get ready to re-enter the swingin' 60's!
I don't even know where to begin. So the plot excellently splits two narratives, one in the present day 2021 and on during the 1960's. Both of which take place in London.
Elouise is a sheltered and awkward girl just entering University to study fashion. It is confirmed that durig the past she has had problems with mental health related to schizophrenia.
During dream like states, she watches and at times embodies Sandy, a driven young woman with dreams of becomming a show girl and singer. Things soon take a darker turn as everything in this world isn't all glamour.
The connection between these two realities are incredibly shown through Elouise' love for the 1960's. Everything from the fashion to the general nightlife. This movie explores the mich harsher and darker side to this world, esspecially for women. This is done so excellently as the meaner world and visuals slowly but surely break her general psyche. It was sometimes painful to watch as both girls were broken down.
That being said, Elouise as a character seems like the perfect contender as in many ways she mirrors Sandy. For the most part, she is an outcast in the modern day. The girls on her course make fun of her and even her grandmother is uneasy at the idea of her living independently, given her health. One of the only positives in the modern day is her budding romance with John. Who equally gave a compelling performance.
For me, as a big Doctor Who fan. The most surprising factor was Matt Smith. Personally, I thought I would only be able to see the 11th Doctor but fair play to both script and Matt's performance. He did such a good job playing this slimy, agressive villain. And to be fair, his menacing nature slowly builds up on the spectator as one of his first scenes includes him punching a gross old man in the face. Honestly, I didn't know until today I needed to see Matt Smith punch someone in the face.
Honestly, without spoiling anything, this film will leave you asking questions all the way through about what is being perceived in a sick girls head and what dangers are actually presenting themselves in London. I think Edgar Wright nailed this movie. It is easily one of the best films I have seen this year! Which is saying something as I have watched some incredible films for the first time, both at home and at the cinema.
If psychological horror and fantasy is your kind of thing then please watch this! And if it's not, I think you will have a fun time stepping into the 1960's. To give you some slight perspective, I was born in the 90's and I loved all of the songs. I'm not even ashamed to say I recognised a lot of tunes and the artists as well.
Last Night in Soho is a masterpiece.