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Choke on this Review

Published September 26, 2008 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Fox Searchlight
Choke PosterChoke
Well, any movie that opens with the story of the woman, her dog and a jar of peanut butter is okay by me. That is the perfect way to begin Choke also, because it's a delightful anarchistic romp through human dysfunction.

Review: Choke
In another Chuck Palahniuk tale involving self help groups, Victor (Sam Rockwell) is not only a sex addict, but he fakes choking attacks so that his saviors will feel generous towards him. He uses this money to pay for his mom (Angelica Huston)'s hospital care. She doesn't recognize him so he plays… No, I don't want to spoil anymore.

Without ripping from David Fincher, Choke captures the irreverent spirit of Palahniuk. I say that based on the two movies I've seen based on his work. Actually, I listened to Fight Club on audiobook also, but they're probably all like this.

So the narrator breaks the rules. There are enough artsy effects to qualify as an edgy indie film but used in cool, fun ways so it's never too "deep." They even give us the exposition via a delusional multiple personality episode. That's one way to do it.



The underlying theme of a man searching for his father is actually less relatable than the fun fetish stuff. It feels like that's common, we've seen that and everyone has daddy issues. But then go back to crazy stuff.

It's all so wrong, yet not inappropriate. It's all real stuff, nothing that feels invented. It's not insensitive to the practitioners of fetish and addictions either. It just has fun with the absurdity of it all.

There is real humanity in all the outrageousness. Seeing the good in selfish acts is one thing, but actually presenting behavior and not making excuses for it is extraordinary.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Fox Searchlight
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