Editor’s note: In the review of “Choke” that ran in today’s Collegian, it was implied that David Fincher, the director of “Fight Club,” also directed “Choke.” This is incorrect. The director of “Choke” Clark Gregg and the mistake has been corrected in the story below.
Sex doesn’t only sell — it also drives the script behind the movie “Choke,” which is based off of author Chuck Palahniuk’s novel of the same name.
The plot the movie is based on revolves around Victor Mancini, a sex-addicted colonial theme park worker who visits his deranged mother in a private hospital. The money Mancini uses to support his mother is earned by pretending to choke in high-end restaurants and making his rescuers sympathize with his situation, ending in them sending money to support him.
Rather than focusing on Mancini’s deranged mindset, the movie focuses on his individual sexual encounters.
Granted, the book focuses heavily on sex, with the main character attending sex-addict meetings, but the movie takes the sex a little too far. That is the only thing that each scene definitely has, an uncomfortable flashback to someone Mancini has had sex with.
Despite this drastic difference, the plot still follows the book, touching on the way Mancini’s mother overwhelmed his life and destroyed his sense of relationships, as well as the ways in which she taught him the ins and outs of society when he was young.
“What if they say Dr. Blue please come to Room .?” Mancini’s mother asked him.
“It means someone died,” replies the ever so loyal young Mancini.
Mancini’s mother uses these codes to teach him how to meander through life, hopefully outsmarting the rest of the world.
The portrayal of Mancini’s mother — seen first as the expert con-woman who believes she’s raising her boy correctly, and then as the deranged woman she becomes — is executed expertly by Angelica Houston. Her role is dominant, her character and woes evident within the first few scenes.
Mancini’s disconnection with women is portrayed through his sexual encounters with almost every woman he’s met. He does not grow attached to anyone, and the portrayal of the character is again, expertly done.
Actor Sam Rockwell depicts Mancini through his lanky, awkward body, disheveled hair and clothes and seemingly selfish demeanor. His attitude when encountering his mother, his mother’s doctor and even his best friend portrays his desire to be a bad person. Despite this, Rockwell had to portray that Mancini, despite the lust after evil, is truly a decent guy.
This character portrayal was an extremely difficult one, but the script along with the casting allowed it to be successful.
Although “Choke” was not directed by the same person as “Fight Club,” it follows the same satirical yet serious guidelines and is probably watched in order to compare it to the novel.
Staff writer Kelly Bleck can be reached at email@example.com.