Last Night in Soho

Last Night in Soho ★★½

As both a technical work of filmmaking and a mystery, Last Night in Soho is a strong effort. Like nearly all of Wright's features, it moves at a lightning pace, making use of creative shooting and editing to wonderful effect. That said, the script is a big downer here, one where the majority of the characters are afterthoughts to the plot and overbearing thematic messaging. And to put it bluntly, for a movie that focuses on feminism, I find the takeaways to be... shockingly conservative, or at least clumsy enough to be construed as such, which is worse.

Much of the psychological horror is born of (what seems to me) a sheltered girl's internalized fear of sexuality and men's sexual aggression. It's Edgar Wright's didactic rendition of Repulsion! A cautionary Grimm's Fairytale about country girls in the bright city with big dreams. And in spite of an underdeveloped "real world" layer to the narrative, still is a promising idea. The issue arises in lockstep with the film's depiction and overall attitude toward prostitution, a representation that takes what I can only call an ugly turn through the script's third act reveal. Typically, I'm not one to get too badly tangled up in messy messaging, but the strong presence of the gendered conflict renders me unable to assess the issue any other way. It's a critical misstep that undermines the noble intentions and makes Soho a missed opportunity in multiple senses.

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