Choked: Paisa Bolta Hai
Duration: 1 Hr 54 Mins
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Release Date: 5th June 2020
Streaming On: Netflix
Star Cast: Saiyami Kher, Roshan Mathew, Amruta Subhash, Rajshri Deshpande, Upendra Limaye, Tushar Dalvi, Raja Nene, Parthveer Shukla
Plot: The movie Choked is set in a middle-class housing society in Mumbai, that traces the story of Sushant (Roshan Mathew) and Sarita Pillai (Saiyami Kher).
While Sushant is a struggling musician who is careless and carefree hence unable to hold on to any job over a period of time, Sarita works as a cashier in a bank and is the breadwinner of the house. And juggles managing the household, the job, and her son Sameer.
The story takes a turn when Sarita discovers the clogged drain under her kitchen sink spitting out bundles of neatly packed cash frequently, this makes her think that her family’s financial woes will see an end finally. But will it? With the government announcing demonization, Sarita’s plans take an unexpected turn. As there’s always a chance of the truth leaking out, right?
Review: Netflix’s Choked by director Anurag Kashyap is a minor film with socio-political theme from a major filmmaker; a choked kitchen sink drama where an actual ‘kitchen sink’ plays the pivotal role - a magic-realist metaphor for clogged dreams.
The story centers on Sarita frustrations and aspirations. The film ‘Choked’ hooks you with its mood and milieu, right from the first frame. With the narrow staircases, yellowed walls and peeling paint, we get an inside into the housing society where the family and their close knit neighbors stay.
The film is tightly-paced. With detailed ambience, well-defined characters, compelling background score by Karsh Kale, sound design by Gautam Nair and cinematography by Sylvester Fonseca, the film sets the mood brilliantly.
The screenplay by Nihit Bhave brings us a unique premise with every day characters caught in an unusual situation. The writing is finely layered and that brings the characters to life. Even the dialogues add to the spark.
The first hour of Choked is quite engaging, although in the second half, it does lose its grip in places, along with a few oddly placed songs.
However, the performances are top-notch. It is Saiyami Kher’s film from start to finish. She pulls off a stellar performance and shoulders the film confidently. Even Roshan Mathew nails the character of a soft-hearted yet unreliable Sushant. While Amruta Shubhash and Rajshree Deshpande also liven up the scene as well-meaning neighbours.
Overall, ‘Choked’ a keenly observed dissection of masculinity in modern India is a relationship drama about a crumbling marriage. The filmmaker’s most unusual movie since No Smoking - and it most certainly fulfils its duty and performs.