Kinky Boots (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner05/10/2005

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 106 mins

Kinky Boots attempts to follow in the footsteps of The Full Monty and while there’s the occasional stumble, it’s still a lot more enjoyable than Calendar Girls.

The Background
Ever since the runaway success of The Full Monty, the British Film Industry has seen fit to churn out a Full Monty clone every few years or so, usually featuring plucky Northerners triumphing against adversity in some form or another. The latest Monty clone is Kinky Boots, which is based on a true story – a true story that coincidentally bears a certain resemblance to a forgotten old British comedy, Value For Money.

The Story
Joel Edgerton plays mild-mannered Charlie Price, who reluctantly inherits the family business (Price and Sons traditional men’s footwear factory, established 1895) after the unexpected death of his father (Robert Pugh). Charlie soon discovers that the business is in trouble and will go under unless he can drum up some new orders.

Salvation comes when, on a business trip to London, he saves what he thinks is a woman from a mugging and meets Lola (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a drag queen who performs at The Angel Club in Soho. Catching Lola’s show from backstage, Charlie is inspired to move the factory into a new niche market - erotic boots for men.

The Good
A film like this stands or falls on the quality of the lead performance and thankfully, Chiwetel Ejiofor is more than up to the task. He’s utterly convincing as Lola and plays her as a force of nature; funny, loud, sexy and, in the film’s most dramatic scenes, genuinely moving. In addition, he belts out a couple of terrific songs in the nightclub scenes (a definite highlight). Naturally, Lola also gets all the best lines (“Please God, tell me I haven’t inspired something burgundy…”).

The Bad
Australian actor Joel Edgerton’s Northampton accent is so good that you’d never know he was the same actor from Ned Kelly and The Hard Word. However, he’s so good at playing mild-mannered that the romance element of the film suffers as a result. Consequently there’s more chemistry between Charlie and Lola than between Charlie and either his oblivious girlfriend Nicola (Jemima Rooper) or his loyal colleague Lauren (Sarah-Jane Potts), who is his ostensible love interest.

The Conclusion
In short, Kinky Boots is never less than predictable, but it’s definitely worth seeing for Ejiofor’s performance and those looking for a Full Monty fix won’t be disappointed.

Film Trailer

Kinky Boots (12A)
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Content updated: 20/10/2017 00:44

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