After making new worlds in Serenity, before he was warning everyone of impending doom in 2012, and before he was telling another story of the horrors of slavery in 12 Years a Slave, Chiwetel Ejiofor saved a shoe factory in Kinky Boots. It may not sound as exciting, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important. While Kinky Boots may not be an epic story, it’s definitely one that stays with you. It’s quotable, heart-warming, and entertaining. It’s always made me laugh and get a little misty-eyed. So, here’s a little review for you.

The Review

Charlie Price (Joel Edgerton) just wanted a life that was his own. Having grown up in Northampton, England as the next in a long line of shoemakers, he decided to escape that life and run off to the more cosmopolitan London with his equally eager-to-leave fiancee, Nicola (Jemima Rooper). While his father, Harold (Robert Pugh), didn’t really understand his son’s desire to leave, he supported Charlie nonetheless. Unfortunately, the unthinkable happened and Harold passed away, leaving the factory in Charlie’s hands.

In a world of mass-market consumerism, expensive, well-crafted shoes just aren’t as in-demand as they once were. Charlie is faced with an impossible situation. The factory that has been in his family for generations is going to have to close unless he somehow finds a way to turn things around. That’s when Lola (Chiwetel Ejiofor) comes into the picture. A cabaret performer with demons of her own to escape, Lola gives Charlie a great idea: crafting sexy boots that will bear the weight of a man. Facing the skepticism of some of his staff and his fiancee, Charlie is determined to save his factory and preserve his family’s legacy.

While the basic plot of the movie is the underdog story of young man saving his livelihood, Kinky Boots is about more than that. It’s a movie about finding out your real identity and not being afraid to embrace what makes you truly unique. Not only is it about embracing your identity, it’s about embracing each other’s differences. One of my favorite sub-plots in the movie involves Don (Nick Frost), one of the factory employees who’s most vocally opposed to Lola’s presence and the factory’s new direction. I’m not going to spoil things for you, but you can see where that plot is going. It’s still fantastic to watch.

The cast is fantastic. Of all of the Chiwetel Ejiofor performances I’ve seen, this one is among my favorites. He brings such wonderful vulnerability to the brassy Lola. He’s also a fantastic singer and shows off his vocal talents in his performances. Furthermore, he rocks a pair of “kinky boots.” Seriously. The man is amazing. Everyone else is awesome too, of course.

Final Thoughts

This movie is one of my favorites. I don’t remember the first time I saw it, but I have fond memories of sitting friends of mine down to watch it. I’ve never had someone complain about having to watch this movie. That’s saying a lot, really. I love the music and I love the way this movie makes me feel. I think we need more joyful movies with people in awesome boots. I also think we need more movies that portray alternate sexualities and genders in positive ways.

Also, please cast Cheiwetel Ejiofor in more things. He’s so much fun to watch.

I think I’m going to go watch it again.