Gilbert Speaks on Kinky Boots the Film

18 Jan

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I’m happy to inform you that I’ve found another cool film for my Granny’s Insomnia Theatre Collection. Kinky Boots is based on a true story about shoes and the brave shoe factory owner who was willing to think outside of the box to save his company. This 2005 British comedy was written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth. It was directed by Julian Jarrold and stars Joel Edgerton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nick Frost, Sarah Jane Potts and Jemima Rooper. Were these Kinky Boots able to save the day? Find out after the jump.

Steve Pateman

The film is based on a BBC2 documentary series called Trouble at the Top which was broadcasted in February of 1999 about Steve Pateman and his fight to keep the family controlled shoe factory in Earls Barton, Northhamptonshire from going belly up. Steve had joined his father Richard in the family business, WJ Brooks Ltd. In 1979 and eventually took over as managing director in 1993.

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Because of the cheaper fashionable imports flooding the market, the market for traditional, hand stitched leather brogues was declining. W J Brooks was heading on the way of the dinosaur until Steve received a phone call from the owner of a fetish shoe shop in Folkstone. She needed erotic footwear in men’s sizes. Kinky Boots were born and sold under the name “Divine Footwear. Steve even did the modeling for the catalogue.

Kinky Boots, the film

Charlie Price (Joel Edgerton) is attempting to save his family shoe factory which has been doing poorly since his father passed away, but while on a business trip to London, Charlie encounters a woman who is harassed by hoodlums. Charlie is knocked out in his attempt to play the knight in shining armor and wakes up in a dressing room to find out that woman he saved was really a man.

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Lola (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is a drag queen who performs in a club and Lola and her friends are having one heck of a time performing in women’s shoes. The shoes are not able to support a man’s weight. Charlie and Lola become friends and a plan is hatched. With the help of his friend, Lauren (Sarah Jane Potts) Charlie tries to get his employees on board with their new assignment. Not everyone is happy about Lola or the plans to show the boots in Milan, especially Charlie’s fiancée, Nicola (Jemima Rooper) after she learns that Charlie has taken out a second mortgage on their home.

Conclusion

This film was a pleasant surprise, especially since I usually don’t find that many decent shows that late at night. What made the film even more enjoyable was watching Chiwetel Ejiofor play a down to earth drag queen while still coming across as one hell of a sexy man. His character gives no apologies for his love of prancing on the stage wearing thigh-high red boots and carrying a whip.

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When Lola belts out one of his songs, I wanted to get up and dance. I wanted to dance while wearing those awesome red boots. The film is also about acceptance and how we should accept people for what they are and what they want to be. I loved how Lola managed to win the trust and respect of the homophobic Don (Nick Frost) and the other employees of the show factory, but this film focused more on the friendship between Lola and Charlie Price and how they brought out the best in each other.

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There were some great scenes in the film with the best one saved for last as Lola and her drag queen friends come to Charlie’s rescue at the annual shoe show in Milan. As Charlie, Lauren and Lola walk off into the sunset, I was imagining myself swaying and strutting as beautifully as Lola did in those red Kinky Boots… maybe I’ll wear kinky boots at the next Steampunk Event I attend.

Granny gives this film a four star rating. Catch it on demand.

 

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