Adelin Gasana, Lola Kayode
Here's one for you - what comes in an uncountable amount of colors, sizes, and designs? Need another hint? What also boosts confidence, professionalism, and sexuality, all while being continuously pounded into the ground? If you said a ball, "High On Heels" is here to point your mind in a different direction, one of fashion, one of expectations, and one of discomfort and perhaps eventual injury. I'm talking about the high heel shoe, and the journey Adelin Gasana's film takes us on as it examines the footwear that seems a good fit for near any occasion.
If you look good you feel good I was always told by my mother - along with her never-ending obsession with clean underwear. "Remember son," she used to say "If you're ever in an accident and they have to cut your pants off, they'll immediately know the kind of person you are by your undies." Or, if feeling more relaxed that particular day, she would explain that if I ever died unexpectantly, what I was wearing would be my ghost clothes - so make sure to always look your best. As a general rule, the more relaxed statement usually came on a day she didn't have to work - and by that, I mean that she didn't have to wear her work shoes.
Where my mother worked, part of the dress code was high heels, and although I thought she looked very sharp and professional in them, I slowly began to realize how much pain they caused her. As stated in Gasana's film, if you want beautiful - you're going to pay the price... and I understand that. But heels are a different beast. They not only beautify, but also create a professional appearance - and you wouldn't be alone if you've ever wondered if it's all worth it? I'm sure many women will answer with a "Hell yes!" but what about those who don't think so? Should they be forced to feel the pressure of the heel from their peers, coworkers, and even bosses? High heels are not designed for comfort, and can cause serious injury - and they are still beloved by so many, and still required footwear for many professional women. "High On Heels" touches on this subject, along with historical facts, society's expectations, perceptions, pretty much everything heel related. And let me say this reader, "High On Heels" was much more entertaining than I thought it would be. For a documentary on shoes, this film not only surpassed my expectations - it obliterated them.
Without question, Adelin Gasana and Lola Kayode have written a film just crammed with information about the high heel shoe. But what's interesting, is that although only forty-five minutes long, I never once had that feeling of information overload. It's put together and paced excellently, and gives off the feeling of a much grander topic. Perhaps the topic itself is the very reason this flick feels so much bigger. For me, a shoe is a shoe - and a heel is just another form of footwear. But I'm also a guy, and never really gave it all much thought. It just may be that my ignorance when it comes to high heel shoes is the very reason I enjoyed this film so much. I do know one thing for sure, I'll never look at them the same way.
Other than the pacing, I don't have much more to write on the technicalities of Gasana's production. It's a documentary and looks the part one hundred percent. If you've ever seen any documentary on any subject, you pretty much know what to expect - but "High On Heels" is also a well-made film, looking much larger than a low-budget doc. I did happen to notice the background music at times felt a little loud, but hardly even worth mentioning at all.
At the end of the day? "High On Heels" offers so much more than what many are probably thinking - but more importantly, it offers up some good ol' fashioned entertainment. That's the point right? To entertain and maybe even educate - this flick does both... with style. A solid four stars.