Anurag Kashyap is one of very few master story tellers who know the pulse of audience and immensely capable of making a simple story line into the most related and relevant work that touches many lives.
Choked, Netflix original film which is streaming now is one such film which showcases the potential of this popular director once again who has translated many contemporary stories like Gangs of Wasseypur, Bombay Velvetand Ugly etc. onto celluloid with great success.
Choked is the story of a lower middle class working woman Sarita (Saiyami Kher) who struggles to make the ends meet with a wayward husband and a smart kid who depends on her and it’s not as easy as it looks as she has to face many challenges in work life as well as her family life.
Her job in a bank gets monotonous. Her travel to her workplace gets tedious. Her life back in home is nothing normal with nosy neighbours, crumbling ceilings and choking drains.
Sushant (Roshan Mathew), husband of Sarita is more interested in carrying out his favorite pastime of killing time by playing caroms and getting into fight with one of his neighbours to get his money back. As a result he becomes a sure sign of pain in neck of Sarita who needs a miracle to get over all these encumbrances that make her restless and peace less.
So the miracle comes in an unexpected form and it’s simply out of ‘drain’. As a result, Sarita gets her hands full of money which is nothing short of a miracle. Thereafter, Sarita’s life takes a ‘U’ turn giving her ample flexibility in spending and also clearing the debts of her husband. But having money alone does not solve all the problems and Sarita is not an exception so there are many other constraints in store to make her more desperate and vulnerable as she now needs to save all the money she is getting through a ‘miracle’ without getting noticed by anyone else.
Unfortunately, at a time when everything is merry-go-round for Sarita, the news of demonetization come as a real shocker to her and subsequently she goes on to overpower this by getting back to reality with a transformed mindset.
‘Money makes many things’ but in case of Sarita its ‘Money changes many things’ and Sarita too falls in this category and she ends up as an altogether changed individual in the end.
It’s Saiyami Kher all the way who essayed the role of Sarita to perfection. Sarita reflects the typical Marathi middle class working woman who juggles between her daily chores with little time for her family or friends and Saiyami has done full justice by enacting the role of Sarita with aplomb.
Roshan Mathew as Sushant is another important character in this 114 minutes film and he had some emotional moments which he has handled with ease.
Other actors like Amruta Subhash, Rajshri Deshpande, Upendra Limaye and Uday Nene have done well in spite of having minimum screen time.
The writing of Nihit Bhave is on target which dwells on nuances of middle class lives in a city like Mumbai where every day is a struggle laced by many incidents, some changing the lives and some teaching new lessons. This point was exploited extremely well by Nihit Bhave.
Anurag Kashyap has succeeded in transforming the story of Nihit into a more realistic experience by his deft handling of the script thereby giving Choked a real straight forward life experience without any extra frills.
The music of Karsh Kale befits the proceedings on screen with some touching interludes and cinematography of Sylvester Fonseca has captured the moods of Mumbai middle class lives quite effectively.
Our honest feeling
Anurag Kashyap never lets you down and Choked is one more example of his creative skills. The aftermath of demonetization is something which impacted many and Choked is an attempt to throw some light on those after affects in a subtle manner.
So it’s more contemporary with a touch of realism that appeals and this is the strong point behind Choked which one cannot afford to miss.