‘King of Soho’ is ‘excellent’

Film Review: The Look of Love

By Elliot Baker

Steve Coogan stars in this true English tale of love, lust and real estate as we follow the life of porn and property mogul Paul Raymond, and with a solid cast and excellent period setting, this saucy romp is a winner.

The film follows Paul Raymond, the “King of Soho” and his exploits in becoming one of the largest adult entertainment barons in the world. However, despite all the money and glamour, Raymonds family life falters. Can he do enough to pull the family back together, or will his lifestyle rip them apart forever?

This is a film of two halves: the first half is the glitz and hedonism of the 60’s and 70’s as the arriviste Raymond is making his name, and the latter half is the more sober 80’s and 90’s when the reality of his actions and the state of his family are laid bare. The two are woven together excellently by versatile director Michael Winterbottom who shows a talent for comedy as well as soapy drama.

The full cast are excellent. Coogan plays the lead with charisma and charm, and then later regret, showing the full range of this English comics abilities; Anna Friel as Raymond’s wife Jean is alluring and comedic; Tamsin Egerton as Raymond’s beautiful lover is both sensual, ambitious and serious, a difficult thing to achieve considering she spends most of the film in various states of undress; and Imogen Poots as Raymond’s daughter Debbie is coquettish and heartbreaking, a possible star in the making.

This is a sexy and bold film, with enough nudity and drugs to fill 5 films, however it never feels gratuitous, considering the life of the man in question this is likely to have been the tip of the iceberg. By the end, you begin to pity Raymond, the man that had all the money in the world and lived the life that many dream of, he couldn’t buy the one thing he wanted, his daughter’s happiness. Cracking film.

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