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Choke Review

Choke is a film based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club among many others. So already, you know you’re in for a weird ride.

Directed by first-timer Clark Gregg you could call it a dark comedy, but I found it far more dramatic than comedic. It’s the story of sex-addict Victor Mancini (Sam Rockwell – excellent in the role) and his relationship with his mother (Anjelica Huston).

Mancini attends AA-like meetings for his condition, yet seems to rarely get through the door, more often than not getting off with a fellow attendee. He works as a tour guide at a 1800’s theme park with his best friend Denny (a compulsive masturbator), and in his spare time he goes to restaurants, deliberately chokes on his food, then fleeces the person who saves him since they feel responsible for his life.

Most of this money he uses to care for his mother, in an expensive private care home. This is the most re-visited scene in the movie, since the patients there come to adore him while he has slept with most of the nurses. His mother never seems to know who he is – and again, this mother/son relationship is an important theme.

I don’t want to spoil any of the delightful twists in this story. There are many flashbacks of the young Victor growing up with his increasingly demented mother and this includes a very weird tale of his upbringing. Each of these flashbacks add a little more to the tale.

But above all this is the story of Victors descent into the depths of his sex-addiction and his search for his sense of worth and self. It’s a mad, mad film with a few cool story twists, and it hurtles along at a fair old pace.

Keep an eye out at the end of the movie, the author, Chuck Palahniuk, is sitting next to Victor 🙂

Rating: 8.5 / 10 — Excellent Palanhiuk translation to the big screen.


Rotten Tomatoes