I’m a big fan of Chuck Palahniuk‘s writing (but not always his stories), so it was with reservation that I set foot in the theater to see the movie adaptation of his fourth novel, Choke.
This is the story of a truly disenchanted soul named Victor Mancini, who keeps his deranged mother (played by Angela Houston) in an expensive private mental hospital by working days as a "historical reenactor." At night he runs a scam where he deliberately chokes in upscale restaurants to form parasitic relationships with the wealthy patrons who "save" him. He learns that his parentage might very well be divine, and so the story takes a direction of discovery and quest as he tries to find out the true origin of his father.
While the movie has several laugh out loud moments, it is very dark, and very adult (Victor is a recovering sex addict, you see), and true to the book… it’s goes well beyond the comfort zone of most people. The story has some interesting characters and plot twists, and there are some very good performances by the entire cast, but Sam Rockwell is outstanding as the main character, Vincent.
The movie surprised me by taking an almost romantic turn… but it just didn’t quite pull it off. At the end of the day, I was glad the movie wasn’t any longer than the 90 or so minutes and ultimately, it was a pretty forgetful flick. For a movie that was largely about sex, sexual situations, and is rife with the random, gratuitous nude scenes, this isn’t a sexy movie… not in the least.
Warnings – R rated, and it earned it. Nudity, loads of crude language, some sex scenes, even more sexual situations and one mock-rape.
I cautiously recommend it only as rental on DVD when it comes out (which will probably be pretty quickly), and even then, only if you are NOT easily offended.
If you want to see some trailers and such: http://www.foxsearchlight.com/choke/