Area is hot, small spoilers, reading you five by five!
“What would you do?” is the pivotal plot point and source of moral dilemma in the quirky British comedy, Kinky Boots.
Charlie Price (played by Joel Edgerton), who has tried to extricate himself from the family business by getting a job in London, is the last in a line of shoe makers. After his father’s death, Charlie is forced to manage the factory he has worked hard to leave behind. While diving into the business’s finances, he learns that the business has been going under for a long while and his father was covering it up. As the new manager, he has to fire a third of his staff, but not before asking each of them “what would you do?” and having a more than a few dirty looks shot his way. Charlie has to make some hard decisions - he needs to find a way to help his employees, who are his friends, and save the family business but no one is ready to help except for the charming Lauren (played by Sarah Jane Potts).
After a short stay in a pub, Charlie stumbles out into the street and he notices a woman being harassed by three large men. Being a nice guy and wanting to be a hero, he tries to stop the men but is quickly knocked down. This is when he has his epiphany: He is semi-conscious on the ground staring at a boot with a broken heel and a light bulb goes off.
The story about the boots is the first part of the movie, but it also has a more complex secondary story about acceptance and dignity. The foil to this otherwise plain story is that the woman, Lola (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor), that was being harassed was actually a drag queen, whose life has been filled with hard decisions and obstacles. When she accepts Charlie’s offer to build a better boot for her, she again struggles to change the minds of the small town workers at the shoe factory.
Julian Jarrold is the director of this picture and though his pedigree lies in television his fluid style of transitions and his use of still shots was an excellent touch to add to the movie. Some of the shots were overly complicated and these shots would lead to confusing re-establishing shots. But as a whole the movie was directed with finesse and didn’t let the viewer down very much.
Not only were the characters well written and conceived, they were portrayed brilliantly by the actors.
Joel Edgerton (From Star Wars Episode 3 and King Edward) played the proud, anxious, good-hearted Charlie Price with both confidence and sensitivity. The way he tried to control is emotions in attempts to remain prim and proper makes the viewer both laugh and cry.
Chiwetel Ejiofor (from Serenity and The Inside Man) plays the drag queen Lola/ the man named Simon. The part required him to wear a huge wig, wear what appear to be 7 inch stilettos and act in two very distinct characters, all of which he succeeds in doing without making it look forced or cartoonish. Though, I bet the blooper reel was absolutely hilarious.
Sarah Jane Potts (from television shows like NYPD blue, Felicity and Keen Eddie) is a perky comedic consultant to Charlie’s new scheme. Though she wants to see Charlie succeed, she is always quick enough to knock him down a few notches if he needs it.
The notable cameo in this film was Nick Frost, of Shaun of the Dead fame. He played a rough around the edges steam-press operator, who is the first to take exception to the arrival of Lola and the first to fully accept her/him in to the factory brotherhood.
There were a few song and dance scenes but they all included lots of jokes and really added some context to Lola’s character.
Overall this movie was a great laugh, had enough back story to make the characters interesting and was thoroughly entertaining. There were a few flaws in the presentation of the film but nothing too displeasing or disruptive. This movie ranks a 7/10 or three and a half out of five star rating.