If you have been an avid reader of my reviews, you would know that Anurag Kashyap is my favourite director. He is known for taking risks and telling the most bizarre stories effectively. Most of his films might be ahead of its time which is why they do not strike a chord with its audience, but make no mistake, the director is a superstar that has slowly but surely created a niche for himself in the big bad world of Bollywood. And so naturally, any film that he directs(or even recommends) makes me excited. After his short in Ghost Stories, this week releases another one of his works, Choked. Does he weave his magic once again….lets find out.
Choked is the story of a young married couple undergoing a soured marriage till the wife finds a few bundles of notes each night in her ‘choked’ drain. This until demonitisation strikes! Through this story Anurag also shares his opinion on the 2017 demonetization, openly sharing his political views. This is where a few people might agree or disagree with him. But nevertheless you cannot ignore it as he doesn’t shy away from his views. The screenplay is also quite well written. The parts of the soured marriage are very well depicted which carry this raw emotion which are reminiscent of Anurag’s movies. Also the world around, featuring a lower middle class with some nosey neighbors and a thin wall separating each household is superbly depicted. The black money is literally black, being fetched out of the drain. The suspense part though could have been better written and the ending is a tad underwhelming too. But, the drama has enough thrills to keep you invested! The dialogues are so relatable and funny at times(another hallmark of Anurag). The music and the BGM are quite good and heighten the drama. Director Anurag Kashyap yet again scores with this new age thriller which is relatable. His direction is raw and gutsy!
The performances are outstanding! Upendra Limaye as Reddy is good though a little underutilized. Aditya Kumar(you might know him as Perpendicular from Gangs of Wasseypur) has his moments. So does Rajshri Deshpande. The pick of the actors for me is Amruta Subhash as Tai. A character that requires her to be loud, shrewd, caring and nosey all at the same time, and she delivers a masterclass in acting. Watch her going on an extempore in one of the earlier scenes when she is holding Sarita’s hand. Such a joy watching her act! Roshan Mathew is a very capable acting(yet to watch Moothon) and here too does a pretty good job as Sushant despite playing second fiddle to Sarita. His is a vulnerable character and a character that you might just about hate, but then there is this certain innocence to his character that just makes you want to hold on to that much longer. Saiyami Kher(you might have seen her in Mirziya) is excellent as Sarita, a middle class woman who is supporting her family by being the only breadwinner of her family. Yet, once she gets the money, she doesn’t spend on herself but for her family. She represents so many women who gave up their aspirations for their families. Such a good actress and she deserves more such good work in Bollywood!
Some might say Choked is a propaganda, but it is a question that you ask yourself, does the film come together around it. I think it does and hence it is a film that should be watched for its performances, direction and some good writing. Don’t go in expecting some complex action scenes or thrills, but go in expecting a roller coaster nevertheless. Available on Netflix!!