‘Last Night in Soho’ review: Beautiful horror story revel in the look and sounds of London’s swinging 60s

So it did not come.

Or that. Or that.

Edgar Wright’s penetratingly effective, bloody strange, pastime “Last Night in Soho” is a hallucinogenic and wonderfully disturbing love letter to fashion and sights and sounds in London in the swinging 1960s; time-typical pop songs by people like Dusty Springfield, Kinks and Petula Clark and a series of creepy, psychological horror movies. It’s an insane kaleidoscope of bright colors, dark corners, David Lynch – style scenery and shocking moments designed to keep you awake at night – and it features a quintet of memorable performances from two of the best young actors and three iconic briter.

“Last Night in Soho” advertises itself as a uniquely memorable visual work in a striking opening sequence in which Thomasin McKenzie’s Ellie slides down a hallway and into her bedroom to the tribes of Peter and Gordon’s “A World Without Love.” Ellie lives with her grandmother Peggy (Rita Tushingham) in a cozy country house in Cornwall, when her mother committed suicide more than a decade earlier – but mother remains a presence in Ellie’s life and often appears in hyper-realistic visions through the mirror in her. bedroom decorated as a sanctuary to the 1960s.

Ellie is a talented and smart and lovely young woman, but she has been dealing with serious mental problems for most of her life, and when she moves to London to study fashion design, she is almost immediately overwhelmed by the sheer intensity of everyday life, from predatory men lurking in the shadows to her really awful roommate Jacasta (Synnove Karlsen) to an overall feeling of simply not belonging in this place and time.

Desperate to escape the cruelty of her roommate and the party atmosphere of her dorm room, Ellie rents a room upstairs on a quiet street by an angry but seemingly kind-hearted old hostess (deceased Diana Rigg), who amuses Ellie with her fascination with music from HER generation. It is when Ellie settles in her new place that “Last Night in Soho” seriously embarks on the next level, as Ellie is regularly transported to the mid-1960s (check out that movie series for “Thunderball”). ! ”) And becomes something of a time travel, mirror image twin to a beautiful blonde aspiring singer named Sandy (Anya Taylor-Joy) .Sometimes Ellie is an unseen observer of Sandy’s experiences; on other occasions it’s more like she lives in Sandy’s body.It’s even more strange than it sounds, but it’s also different and cool and bizarre.

The hopeful singer Sandy (Anya Taylor-Joy) becomes a kind of time travel twin for Ellie.
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At first glance, it seems that Sandy is living the life of Ellie’s dreams as she auditions for a singing concert by delivering a sensually effective rendition of Petula Clark’s “Downtown” and gets involved with a handsome and handsome talent manager named Jack (Matt Smith ), who looks like he’s stepped out of a hipster TV series. Very quickly, however, it becomes clear that Sandy is being exploited and abused by increasingly vicious forces, to Ellie’s horror.

Meanwhile, today, Ellie creates some exciting, 1960s-inspired fashion designs and finds solace in a budding relationship with a sensitive and friendly fellow student (Michael Ajao), but she feels persecuted by a mysterious, silver-haired old man – hours (Terrence Stamp), who says she looks very familiar to him and she is haunted by her nightmares of visions that go from the cold to the blood-sprayed and feel more like memories than visions. WHAT HAPPENS?!

Co-author-director Wright is clearly a fan of London music and films from the 1960s, as evidenced by his casting of Rita Tushingham (“A Taste of Honey”, “The Knack … and How to Get It”, “Smashing Time”), Terrence Stamp (“The Collector”, “Modesty Blaise”) and Diana Rigg (Emma Peel in the mid-1960s cult hit espionage TV series “The Avengers”), who are all excellent in important supporting roles. Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy add their already impressive CVs with double head appearances – McKenzie beautifully conveys Ellie’s gift / curse to see and experience things beyond what most people ever imagine, while Taylor-Joy expertly conveys Sandys transformation from aspiring aspiring singer to abused victim to… something else. “Last Night in Soho” is one of the most unusual and exciting films of the year.

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