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:: Choke

It makes sense that ‘Choke’ is the one film that matches ‘Fight Club’ for the amount of storyline twists and turns that will leave the audience completely stunned. It makes sense because both films came from novels written by Chuck Palahnuik. However it’s not just the twists and turns that will captivate you; director, Clark Gregg has done a wonderful job creating a fantastic piece of alternative cinema.

‘Choke’ tells the story of Victor Mancini (Sam Rockwell), who is a sex-addict he pays for his mother’s health-care by scamming people in restaurants after pretending to choke. His life changes forever when he meets Paige Marshall (Kelly McDonald) while visiting his mother, Ida (Anjelica Huston).

Some would argue that ‘Choke’ is designed for a male audience as it consists of a fair amount of female nudity but the audience just needs to realise that director, Clark Gregg has done this in a risqué attempt to show just how a sex-addict views the world. It is also worth pointing out that the nudity is not gratuitous and is only there to further the character of Victor along.

The other important aspect that brings this film to life are some acting performances that truly deserved the Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Cast that it won at the Sundance Film Festival. Sam Rockwell clearly shows that he has a brilliant future ahead of him while Kelly MacDonald’s performance is equal to what she did in ‘Trainspotting’. But by far it is Anjelica Huston that steals the show in her role as an ailing dementia patient. Her character is one of the most memorable characters in cinematic history, and seeing her earlier life in flashback only adds to the intrigue of her character. If all in Hollywood was fair Huston would win an Oscar for this portrayal but unfortunately being a low budget film will ensure that ‘Choke’ gets no nominations at all.

The script is also worthy of an Oscar nomination as it really is one of those films that sucks the audience into believing something is real only to have it whipped away from them a second later in a well disguised reveal. Sometimes this kind of filmmaking can really infuriate a viewer but, like in the case of this film’s big brother ‘Fight Club’, here you are left simply marveling at Chuck Palahnuik and Clark Gregg’s brilliant storyline, script and characters.

‘Choke’ shows that quite often a low-budget film can outclass the latest one hundred million dollar blockbuster when it comes to character and story. ‘Choke’ is the kind of film that will have you talking about it for days after you see it and is guaranteed to join ‘Fight Club’ as a cult classic.