Review: Nostalgia Can Be Murder in ‘Last Night in Soho’ | Movie reviews

I’ve written about the nostalgia cycle before, but if you don’t know, that’s when lifestyles, trends, or art forms from the historic past – like music, movies, fashion , etc. – are popular with the younger generation again. 20 or 30 years after their introduction.

For example, there was a lot of ’50s nostalgia in the late’ 70s and early ’80s, while many TV shows from the’ 60s and early ’70s saw movie adaptations come out in the’ 80s. 90. Over the past decade, the culture of the 1980s has flooded many entertainments with huge TV hits like “Stranger Things” to retro music by Bruno Mars.

But what’s particularly rare is a nostalgic second-degree cycle where things from 50 to 60 years ago are popular with kids, and that’s where “Last Night in Soho” comes in. divides his time between today’s London and the London of the Swinging Sixties.

Of course, coming from writer-director Edgar Wright, there’s a lot more layers and symbolism in the movie. By planning a fantastic time travel, Wright is able to ask bold questions about the role nostalgia plays in our lives, why some things change while others stay the same, and the importance of being yourself. even when it’s difficult.

Delivered in an elegant and expertly crafted production, “Last Night in Soho” is a unique and original thriller with a haunting cast and a director at the top of his game. Sadly, the movie doesn’t end as strong as it started off, but it’s a popcorn flick worth it just by being smarter and more original than most blockbusters today.

Ellie (played by Thomasin McKenzie) is an aspiring fashion designer who arrived in London from the rural countryside. With a love for everything from the 1960s, she doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of her classmates.

After renting an apartment from sweet Miss Collins (Diana Rigg), Ellie’s first night is not what she expected. Because once asleep, Ellie is mysteriously able to step into the 1960s, where she meets dazzling aspiring singer Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy), who is picked up by nightclub manager Jack (Matt Smith). which promises him a career in show business.

Glamor isn’t all it seems to be, however, as Sandie’s dreams of being a singer on stage slowly morph into a much darker role with no chance of getting out of Jack’s control. Unfortunately, the more Ellie visits the 60s at night, the harder it is to separate her dreams from reality during the day.

Best known for his comedy films, this is Wright’s first foray into horror and thriller films with little to no comedy in sight. And while there are a few bumps along the way, his dedication to his craft and willingness to tell this story properly is evident on screen.

Much of the film’s success is due to the outstanding cast, especially McKenzie and Taylor-Joy. While still relatively new to Hollywood, the two actresses have already made their mark in Oscar-winning dramas and box office hits, but it’s great to see them push their acting skills even further. here. They can both easily portray the glamor of the Swinging Sixties, so seeing them in such dark and horrifying places later in the movie is effective.

As with most of Wright’s films, the secondary star is the soundtrack which, given the time period of the story, is chock-full of classic hits. Rigg’s character agrees with Ellie’s idea that the music was better back then, and I agree. From Dusty Springfield to The Kinks, from James Ray to Sandie Shaw, the music is fantastic throughout, culminating in a haunting cover of “Downtown” sung by Taylor-Joy.

Without giving too much away, Wright’s way of warning audiences of nostalgia and the danger that having an idealized version of decades past could be dangerous, especially since every era has its negatives that cannot be ignored.

When Ellie first arrives in London, a taxi driver tells her that today’s city hasn’t changed much since the 1960s – a grim omen of what she will soon be coming to see. “Last Night in Soho” is an entertaining film, to be sure, but also a warning.

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