Choke is a great film to take a date to if you want how comfortable they are with sex. Depending on their reaction you may or may not want to leave the anal beads out of the action.
What can I say, this film is a fun, dirty romp with a bunch of crazy people that has you smiling (and wincing) all the way. It stays true to the book, while simultaneously standing on it’s own. If you haven’t read Chuck Palahniuk‘s book “Choke,” it won’t make a lick of difference and if you have read the book, he’s added plenty of little details for you to spot. If you haven’t read “Choke” at some point, before or after the film, you really should take the time. There are only so many things Director Clark Gregg could put up on the screen and not have it slip into NC-17 territory, which it gets pretty close to at times.
This was the first time Clark Gregg has directed a film and it’s a well thought out, cohesive, amazing film. He also wrote the film and was able to turn Chuck’s book into a successful script. Chuck Palahniuk even said in a recent BeatCrave interview that “this one was even more verbatim [than Fight Club].” In fact Chuck even went so far to say that he liked the additions that Clark made to the script, “There’s a sort of a third dynamic there that I didn’t do in the book, which is developing a relationship between Ida and Paige Marshall, which I thought Clark had done really, really well in the movie.” (For the full interview with Clark Gregg and Chuck Palahniuk click here).
If you’re walking into this film expecting the next Fight Club, don’t, this is a whole new breed of monster. It’s almost the exact opposite of Fight Club and yet it’s still disturbingly wonderful in it’s own special way. It’s so much fun to watch Sam Rockwell, be so disgusting and yet dare I say lovable. The man does everything for the wrong reasons and yet begs for your love and you feel like giving it to him. (Sam Rockwell and Brad William Henke interview here.) Anjelica Huston is SO good and being bad. She knows how to find the soft spots in all of those truly dark characters and nail them. You hate her, pity her, and love her all at the same time. All of the supporting cast, Brad William Henke, Clark Gregg (of course he couldn’t stay out of it), Kelly McDonald, and Jonah Bobo, have well layered characters that add the the effectiveness of this great film. And of course, there are MANY lovely ladies in the film for Victor to play with including the lovely Bijou Phillips and Paz de la Huerta.
There were only two issues that I had with this film and it’s only because I’m being VERY picky.
**Spoiler ahead (not if you’ve read the book)**
At the end of the book and in the film, our main character Victor goes through a type of mass release. You know the one I’m talking about Palahniuk fans, it’s the shit scene. The scene where he lets it all out, anal bead and all onto the police floor. Although this is an extremely disgusting scene it is also beautiful in it’s own special way. The entire story and his bowels are literally building up to this moment. This is his great epiphany, this is his enlightenment, this is his moment of freedom from everything that has held him. As Tyler Durden said “It’s only when you’ve given up everything that you’re free to do anything” or if you prefer “Only after disaster can we be resurrected.” This extreme debasement is necessary for the character to be able to find what they’re looking for.
But because this is film and that would make it an EXTREMELY graphic scene, it’s not quite shown in it’s entirety. It is, but not really. It doesn’t have the great build up power that you have in the book, nor the wonderful release. I understand why Clark couldn’t go there, but I wish they could have come up with someway to maybe get a bit closer.
My second issue, I wanted more. I think they could have added 10 minutes to the film and I would have been happy to sit and enjoy, which is something I NEVER say, but that’s how much fun I had.
So take a date, a friend, or take yourself and go see Choke, opening in theaters tomorrow September 26th!