Cast: Saiyami Kher, Roshan Mathews, Amruta Subhash, Rajshri Deshpande
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Duration: One hour 54 minutes
Where to Watch: Netflix
Critics' Rating: 3.5
Choked - Paisa Bolta Hai marks the first collaboration of Saiyami Kher, Roshan Mathew and Anurag Kashyap. With demonetization as a backdrop, Choked explores the power struggle at every level - including those in a middle-class home where Sarita earns the bread and Sushant is out of work.
Kitchen sink as an element in horror films is understandable but what happens when it is the central character of the movie? That's Choked! The title of the film has been used in several references mainly for the clogging of the drainpipe pipe in the kitchen. But there is another reason too and we will come to it later. The film has Saiyami Kher, playing the breadwinner of the house and her husband Roshan Mathews is unapologetic about it.
He is often taunted about it by the neighbours, which hurts him. But when it comes to his wife and son, he doesn't care to show his laziness to another level. When the sink pipe leaks he shows his face in disgust and ignores by going outside. He becomes a pro in ignoring problems of the world which a typical husband is supposed to take responsibilities of. Saiyami despite being the sole breadwinner doesn't show much concern of her husband's lazy life.
She lives with it and is proud to be an employee. Her day-to-day life of leaving the house in nicely draped saree and returning with messed up hair and tired face make it believable that she works and gets tired at the end of the day. The kitchen sink is a menace but turns into a blessing when the person living upstairs stores wad of notes wrapped in a plastic bag throws into the bathroom sink which their kitchen sink. The discovery she makes leads to a comfortable life she has been desiring.
The movie which starts in October 2016, takes an immediate turn in the very next month when demonetisation strikes. Her husband who praises the Prime Minister is rejoicing over the announcement and she is lost in deep thought of not getting the money anymore from her secret treasure drainpipe.
The film has instances where PM decided to eradicate corruption in the hands of the rich but it's poor who got affected brutally. Amruta Subhash, who plays Saiyami's neighbour has the worst reaction as her daughter's wedding is around the corner. While Roshan along with other building members starts dancing with happiness.
Then comes the real work for Saiyami, who is a bank employee and will have stressful days due to note exchange procedure for the common man. It also brings a sense of enjoyment as drainpipe updates itself with new notes.
Amid all that, the reason behind their not-so-successful marriage is also 'choked'. This time, it was Saiyami, who couldn't sing during a reality show she participated with her husband in the presence of the audience. This strains their relationship and they accept it too,
As a movie lover, I enjoyed this not-so-usual subject chosen by Anurag Kashyap. It had its thrilling elements and also seen as something new by the ace filmmaker. He makes the film enjoyable by making it relatable AF and how common people health with it.
Coming to performances, Saiyami blew my mind off with her stellar acting. She is someone to watch out for. The actor adapted beautifully to the character of Saritha and shows the effort she has taken to do so. I watched Roshan in Moothon and became his fan instantly. He was on point in every scene, be it as a lazy man, a worried and insecure husband.
Amruta Subhash as a concerned and emotional neighbour player her part too amazingly. Saiyami and Roshan's kid stole my heart with his performance as a cute, confused boy who keeps juggling between his parents especially during their fight.
The music has been blended well with the narrative making it more entertaining.
Overall Choked is not something to be watched with high expectations but it's not disappointing for sure.
Not Anurag Kashyap's best, but unusual and entertaining.