Last night in Soho: a colorful candy with a bitter taste [critique]

Time travel, horror, “body swap”: Edgar Wright crushes genres in a fable on the dark side of the 60’s, both exhilarating and disenchanted.

Edgar wright no longer want to laugh. Last Night in Soho may well have the effect of a euphoric merry-go-round, it is innervated by a gloomy mood, rather unprecedented in the author of Shaun of the Dead. This does not mean to see it as a sign that this film would be that of “maturity”. The older he gets, the more Wright takes care to stage juvenile characters, as if to stay connected to the adolescent emotions that are the basis of his cinema. After the aptly named Baby of Baby Driver, this new film follows in the footsteps of a young girl barely out of childhood, Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie), who arrives in London with dreams fashion head full. She loves the Kinks and Audrey Hepburn, and therefore finds herself slightly out of step with the concerns of her fashion school mates. Via a mysterious temporal “passage”, she will find herself at night propelled in the Soho of the 60s, in the skin of an apprentice singer (Anya Taylor-Joy), and discover the most nightmarish aspects of Swinging London. Last Night in Soho is part of a movement initiated by the Weinstein affair, which invites a new examination of the history of show business, of its most despicable underwear, long hidden under the carpet. The dramas and tears behind the glam. Wright engages in it with for main aesthetic compasses – which is rather inflated – the Marnie Hitchcock and Repulsion by Polanski. As the Once upon a time… in Hollywood from friend Tarantino, it’s a film with a fun patina but full of dark ideas. A colorful candy with a bitter taste.

By Edgar Wright. With Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith… Duration 1h56. Released on October 27, 2021

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