MOVIE REVIEW: Kinky Boots (2007)

Charlie Price (Joel Edgerton) dreams of leaving the small Northern town he grew up in with his fiancee, Nicola (Jemima Rooper). His plans to escape the family shoe factory and move to London are dashed though when his father dies unexpectedly. Now Charlie will have to find a way to pull the artisan shoe factory out of financial ruin in the face of much cheaper competition.

It’s not until Charlie meets drag queen, Lola (Chiwetel Ejiofor) that he has the brainwave of diversifying his product. What if the factory made sexy boots for female impersonators? Can Charlie win over the factory workers, get around his own prejudices and produce a new line all in time for Milan Fashion Week? Only time will tell.

I can see why Kinky Boots has been successful as a musical. It has lots of opportunity for heartfelt songs that signal changes in mood and energy as well a straighforward, predictable narrative.

There are a load of modern classic British movies in this kind of genre like The Full Monty, Bend it Like Beckham and Love, Actually and if you like these kinds of movies, you’ll love this.

Personally I found it all a bit twee and overly sweet and simple. Ejiofor is a brilliant actor and his embodiment of Lola is the highlight of the film. Lola faces some challenges through the film his performance ensures that they are given the room they need to breathe and land. Unfortunately Edgerton is really wooden and by comparison he just does not measure up. The female characters are very much caricatures and Nicola in particular is treated like a pariah for having wants and needs of her own. Lauren (Sarah-Jane Potts) does almost all the actual work and Charlie takes almost all the credit.

It passed an afternoon. It wasn’t terrible but it certainly wasn’t anything special even though it had drag queens. Maybe the musical is better.

2.5/5

2 Comments

  1. I saw that film on TV a long time ago. As it was supposedly based on a true story, I thought it might be interesting. But it was just a bit too ‘silly’ for me, and felt like it had been made in the 1960s. A sort of ‘Carry On’ style that no longer works.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Yes, I agree. It was a bit cheesy and the actual story is really interesting. It could have been done better.

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