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Choked Movie Review: Hits Middle 'Note'

Choked Movie Review: Hits Middle 'Note'

Film: Choked, Paisa Bolta Hai
Rating: 2.5/5
Cast: Saiyami Kher, Roshan Mathew, Amruta Subhash, Rajshri Deshpande, and others
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Release Date: Jun 5, 2020
Platform: Netflix

Sarita (Sayami), a bank employee, resides in a middle-class apartment complex in Mumbai. She is the sole breadwinner of the house of three (her husband and a son).

Her jobless husband’s debts and shattered dreams of becoming a singer make her life dull.

When things turning dreary, she finds a pot of luck: a secret source of income in her home due to a drainage pipe leak.

Rupee notes rolled in plastic sachets, which were stored by the upper floor tenant, pop up from the drainage leak. She stores all those notes and clears debts.

Has this changed her life or brought more problems?

Analysis
Anurag Kashyap’s OTT movie "Choked: Paisa Bolta Hai" is the story of a middle-class housewife. Set in Mumbai in October 2016, the story hits right ‘notes’ till the middle portion.

Depicting the life of an ordinary bank employee and her struggles to clear the piling debts, Anurag Kashyap paints a realistic picture of the Mumbai dwellers and their lives. There’s a beauty in mundane things.

Despite the growing gap between them, the husband and wife still share warmth. Kashyap and the story writer set up the drama nicely.

As the announcement of demonetization, the film takes an unexpected turn from a story of middle-class husband and wife to a satire on ‘note ban’.

The announcement of demonetization - We have decided that the 500 rupee, and 1000-rupee currency notes presently in use will no longer be legal tender from midnight tonight – by PM Narendra Modi comes exactly at 55 minutes after the film and the movie focuses on the things that we had witnessed – serpentine queues at the banks, middlemen enchasing the crisis.

“This is a chance of a lifetime. Once in 50 years such incidents happen,” a broker tells Saiyami Kher asking her to deposit old notes in her bank and take a commission for doing it so. Anurag has portrayed many such close-to-real-life sequences in the film. 

However, the film turns into a dull affair after this moment. It turns ineffective after that. 

It has its many moments to praise about but the satirical portion of demonization lacks sharpness. It turns sloppy at times as well. 

The film boasts good performances and especially it is Saiyami Kher’s show from start to finish. In the role of Sarita is excellent, she brings life to the character.

Her body language and expressions are perfect as a Marathi middle-class woman. Roshan Mathew as Sushant Pillai also plays the role well. 

The cinematography and the production design is topnotch. The story takes place mostly in a cramped apartment room and the camera brings authenticity and also the chocked feel. The colors are warm. The music is okay. 

“Choked” is quite a departure from Anurag Kashyap’s regular style of narration. The director known for his aggressive style lets the story take center stage. This is his restrained work. 

On the whole, “Choked” is a mixed bag. The initial hour is excellent but it gets disconnected after that but makes a decent watch and a good satire on note ban.

Bottom line: Money Game

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