Directed by Clark Gregg
Starring Sam Rockwell, Angelica Huston, Brad William Henke, Kelly Macdonald
Release Date: September 26, 2008
Before a single scene was ever filmed, the movie Choke was at a disadvantage. Whether or not the film would be any good was of little relevance. It was already handicapped by two inevitable comparisons: to the Chuck Palahniuk novel the movie was based on and to David Fincher‘s Fight Club, also adapted from a Palahniuk book. They are comparisons are for obvious reasons, but in the interest of continuing that fairness I watched this movie with two thoughts in mind. One, this wasnâ€™t going to be Fight Club. Choke didnâ€™t have the director, stars, or the budget to even come close to competing. Two, and most importantly, the books are always better. Saying you didnâ€™t like a movie adapted from a book because it wasnâ€™t as good as the book is like saying you didnâ€™t like Star Wars because you donâ€™t like science fiction. Iâ€™m not saying itâ€™s not possible or that some films havenâ€™t come close, itâ€™s just a stupid thing to say.
Victor Mancini (Sam Rockwell) has, what could be described as, baggage. Lots of baggage. He is a sex addict struggling to complete his recovery. He has a go-nowhere job as a historical interpreter at a colonial-era reenactment community. His mother, Ida (Angelica Huston) is in the hospital with a form of dementia that prevents her from recognizing Victor even though he visits daily. He had to drop out of med school to work and pay for his motherâ€™s medical care. His job doesnâ€™t sufficiently meet all of the financial requirements of the hospital so he has resorted scamming people. He goes to nice restaurants and pretends to be choking so unsuspecting patrons will â€˜saveâ€™ him, feel bad, and send him money. Money he uses to pay for his motherâ€™s hospital stay. A mother that doesnâ€™t recognize him or deserve the attention she is getting. You get the idea; heâ€™s got problems.
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