You know the old saying "when in Rome?" Well how about the new and improved saying "when in London?"
That's right, I was recently in London and what better way to engage in some wonderful sightseeing and cultural indulgence than sitting in a dark room and watching a movie set in London! I'm kidding I'm kidding, I actually watched this on the flight home from London, so it was post-sightseeing but you still get the idea.
Last Night in Soho is the latest addition to the wide breadth of films from writer/director Edgar Wright. The man responsible for the classic Simon Pegg and Nick Frost comedies such as Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End, but also the change of pace Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and action packed Baby Driver. Wright certainly has the capacity for an extended range of genre with an underlying comedic tone throughout -- not to mention his knack for framing behind the camera is exquisite. Therefor,e one would just assume his latest addition, now in the horror genre, would be a banger.
Starring a fantastic Thomasin McKenzie as Eloise, a young woman starting her first year of university in hopes of becoming a fashion designer, the film sees her move from the small farm town life to the bustling metropolis of London. While in London Eloise is met with ridicule from her rather abrasive roommate causing her to find a flat of her own. In this flat at night she's able to somehow peer through time and watch Sandie's (Anya Taylor-Joy) life in the 60's. However, this quickly spirals out of control when Sandie, attempting to become a singer, is taken advantage of by her assumed boyfriend Jack (Matt Smith), who then begins to pimp her out to various men. Unable to separate her life from Sandie's, Eloise begins to suffer from a mixed reality and the film turns on its head running down the path of psychological terror.
Like I said before, Thomasin McKenzie puts on an incredible performance. She covers an extensive range of emotions and really captures the highs and lows of the character to a beautiful degree. Moreover, Matt Smith not only is a believable and terrifying antagonist, but he's also quietly been putting together one hell of a career in the past few years. Starting out as the famed Doctor Who, which is a fantastic IP move, then moving into the Marvel-sphere (not MCU yet kind of MCU?) with the lackluster Morbius (insert Morbin' time joke here), he now moves into this film and the new Game of Thrones series coming out soon as a Targaryen! He's hit so many IP Bingo spots he's giving Mads Mikkelsen a run for his money -- remember, Mads has been in Star Wars, Harry Potter, the MCU, James Bond, and soon Indiana Jones. Quite the competition!
While the performances in Last Night in Soho are spot on, the story struggles through its complexity, classic time travel plot problems, and the result is confusion and a discombobulated viewing experience. The shift between Eloise and Sandie becomes blurred at best, which I understand is part of the conflict in the film, however the visual element of it can be jarring along with downright confusing. The third act of the film is almost a completely different type of film than the preceding two-thirds but not in the most positive way. An overflowing amount of "ghouls" and "ghosts" along with a shift in antagonist-protagonist alters the route you think you're on which is certainly a double-edged sword. You don't want the film to be predictable, but you also don't want the household cat to be the murderer all along with zero context leading to that.
On the positive side, the direction, specifically the coloring used, from Wright is an enrapturing experience. The neon shifts between red and blue are emotional triggers that guide you along Sandie and Eloise's journey along with build the world and ethos around them.
Lastly, you can't have an Edgar Wright film without a bangin soundtrack. It's fire, absolute fire and adds even more to the depth of the film.
There's only one beer that should be consumed during this viewing. A staple of Europe and also drank throughout the film, that's right, grab yourself a pint of numbers! Kronenbourg 1664 is a European style Lager brewed as a part of the fifth oldest beer brand in the world! Brasseries Kronenbourg is a French brewery headquartered in Strasbourg but whose beer has permeated throughout Europe for the past 300+ years. Commonly referred to as a "pint of numbers," the Kronenbourg 1664 is their biggest namesake brew and is a refreshing and delightful experience.
Being a European lager, it has a strong malt presence but also the German influence of bitterness and lightness, providing a well rounded and malty-light tasting. It has the classic pale coloring, some floral aromas without the sweetness and limited hoppiness.
In a movie about a character witnessing the 60's there's a prominent beer drank also from the 60's, just you know like a couple hundred years prior, but coincidence?! I think not!
Kronenbourg 1664 Lager - European Pale | 5.5% ABV Brasserie Kronenbourg @1664usa