Film Review: Man on High Heels

Article by Alison Ng

Man on High Heels is an action-packed, yet emotional, noir film that caters to male and female audience members alike.

The movie is about Yoon Ji-wook (Cha Seung-won), a homicide detective that is revered for his brutal ability to capture criminals. But unbeknownst to those around him, Ji-wook desires to become a woman. The story follows Ji-wook’s struggle to maintain his masculine reputation, while he also secretly tries to find the courage to go through a sex-change operation.

Man on High Heels interweaves Ji-wook’s past – falling in love with a male classmate in grade school and the tragedy that followed, with his present life. Battling with the nightmares of his past, Ji-wook finds that classmate’s sister and promises to protect her. As a result, the audience is put through a passionate and sensitive journey as the past and present of Ji-wook’s life comes together, and falls apart.

This film expertly portrays human struggle, which causes the audience to feel emotional turmoil for Ji-wook as he takes tentative steps towards his future. A highlight of the movie is the fast-paced action; it’s thrilling and heart-racing, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats.

While the movie deals with modern social situations, it focuses more on one’s internal conflict in dealing with social backlash. In the end, Man on High Heels is an interesting movie, but the ending leaves the audience pondering and protagonist wishing.

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