Kinky Boots (2005) Movie Review

Director: Julian Jarrold

Writer: Geoff Deane, Tim Firth (Screenplay)

Starring: Joel Edgerton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sarah-Jane Potts, Jemima Rooper, Nick Frost, Linda Bassett, Robert Pugh

Plot: A drag queen comes to the rescue of a man who, after inheriting his father’s shoe factory, needs to diversify his product if he wants to keep the business afloat.


Tagline – How Far Would You Go To Save The Family Business?

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Enjoyable

Story: Kinky Boots starts as we meet two men Charlie (Edgerton) and Lola (Ejiofor) who have grown up under the shadows of their father’s that wanted them to follow in their footsteps. Charlie is forced to take over his family’s show making business, finding it about to go under unless he can find a new idea, which sees him making a chance meeting with the drag queen Lola, who has a full show in London.

Charlie sees a chance to grab his company into a new niche market, by producing shoes for drag queen, seeing how they are struggling to find heels that could support a man’s weight, Charlie risks his whole company on this, while needing to deal with the homophobia shown towards Lola in Northampton.

Thoughts on Kinky Boots

Characters – Charlie is the son of a show maker, the business has kept the community together for generations and despite his decision to leave the area, he is drawn back after his father’s death. He is facing the hardest decision of his life once he learns that the business will need to close, but risks everything to take a chance on a new niche market, where he has to put his uncertainties behind him. Lola is a drag queen in Soho, they take centre stage on a daily show, even if they deal with the haters in life, a chance meeting gives them a chance to design heels for drag queens, both characters have been struggling with father’s that are disapproving in their life choices. Lola has also been dealing with discrimination for years. Lauren is one of the employees that is being made redundant, but pushes Charlie into finding a niche market. Nicola is the fiancée of Charlie who is set for a move to London, who does try to support him through his decisions, but pushed to the limits when he puts their own home on the line.

PerformancesChiwetel Ejiofor gives us a brilliant performance committing to the character through the whole film. Joel Edgerton is great too, in a role that shows him looking a lot weaker than his normal tougher guy roles. Sarah-Jane Potts and Jemima Rooper complete the main supporting cast where everybody does a great job.

StoryThe story here follows a struggling shoe company owner that makes a drastic design to turn his factor into a place where they make heels and shoes for drag queens after meeting with one on a trip in London. This is a story that is based on a true story, which showed an unlikely partnership saved a factory from closure even if Charlie had to risk everything to make sure his employees have a job and put aside his feelings towards drag queens. We do get the deeper story about how people will have their own desires and interests that people shouldn’t judge them on.

Comedy/MusicalThe comedy in the film mostly comes from the different reactions to Lola, while some are positive, others are negative, but it is Lola’s respond that gets the laughs, with the musical side of the film coming from Lola’s performance.

SettingsThe film uses the two main settings, first London where people are more accepting and Northampton where they aren’t used to seeing drag queens, the settings show the different mindsets.


Scene of the Movie – Milan.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The factory workers mentality.

Final Thoughts This is a fun musical that does put out the important messages about how to treat people in life because you never know how important they could be to your own future.

Overall: Important Comedy.

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – S – Solaris (2002)

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Writer: Steven Soderbergh (Screenplay) Stanislaw Lem (Novel)

Starring: George Clooney, Natascha McElhone, Viola Davis, Jeremy Davies, Ulrich Tukur, John Cho, Morgan Rusler

 

Plot: A troubled psychologist is sent to investigate the crew of an isolated research station orbiting a bizarre planet.


Tagline – There are no answers. Only Choices.

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Over-Complicated Sci-Fi

 

Story: Solaris starts when psychologist Chris Kelvin (Clooney) is sent to an isolated research station orbiting a planet after a distress call was sent asking for him. On board the station, Chris meets Gordon (Davis) and Snow (Davies) who have been suffering their own visions, it isn’t long before Chris has his own vision, his wife Rheya (McElhone).

Chris starts to relive the relationship he had with his wife, who shouldn’t be there, he turns to the other researchers that could help explain what is going on, where he is left with the decision on whether to try and bring her back.

 

Thoughts on Solaris

 

Characters – Chris Kelvin is a psychologist with his own personal problems, he is assigned to help on a research station in space to figure out what has happened to the crew. Chris experiences his own vision, which makes him face the reality of what happened with his own marriage, making him question every decision what happened between him and his wife. Rheya is the wife of Chris, she has appeared on the station giving Chris his chance to be with her again. We see her in the memories of Chris, while on the station she isn’t everything Chris remembers. Gordon is one of the researchers that has been dealing with the unexplained visions, she has figured out how to beat them, only she must now convince Chris what is real or not. Snow completes the research team with his cryptic messages to helps Chris understand everything involved.

PerformancesGeorge Clooney is the standout of the cast here, he must deal with his character’s grief, while trying to use the scientific explanation for everything that is going on, he brings both sides of his emotional factor. Natascha McElhone does have the chemistry with Clooney for the character, she must also deal with two roles for her character. Viola Davis and Jeremy Davies both complete the supporting roles well without being tested to their full abilities.

StoryThe story here follows a psychologist that must travel to a remote space station to help the researchers, only for himself to become trapped with the similar visions they have suffered, with his being off his late wife. This does get to show how one man must deal with he grief of a lost love, facing his reality in a new way other than just talking it out, we see him come face to face with what is hurting him to learn just how to move on. We do get into a big scientific discussion about what could happen if you could get a second chance with somebody, to make up for a mistake. This does tend to get over complicated and fails to give us the support characters own visions as a major part of the story, which could show other experiences being suffered through. This does try to be interesting and does work very well, only it does try to become more than it offers.

Mystery/Romance/Sci-FiThe mystery involved in the film comes from how this planet is connecting to the station creating these visions, this plays into the sci-fi side of the film, as we can’t explain everything going on. The romance side of the film shows us just how one man can face his own romantic past in one moment.

SettingsThe film is mostly set on the station, this shows how Chris is looking back at his romance from a remote location, we do get to see where his life was once set.


Scene of the Movie –
The liquid oxygen moment.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t use the supporting character visions.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sci-fi romance mystery that does get over complicated when it doesn’t need to, it has strong performances, but fails to use the supporting characters well enough.

 

Overall: Sci-fi that makes you scratch your head.

Rating