Hindi Reviews

Choked: Paisa bolta hai(2020)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Not on par with Anurag Kashyap’s previous works, but a decent film with notable performances from the cast !

Choked: Paisa bolta hai was one of the most anticipated Netflix movie for multiple reasons. Anurag Kashyap, his take on demonetization (atleast that was what advertised), Roshan Mathew’s bollywood debut, were all appealing factors for me. The movie takes us to a middleclass Mumbai neighbourhood and our main protagonist, a bank employee Sarita is struggling to meet both ends for her family which consists of her lazy husband Sushanth, and their only son. Their married life is not going smoothly and she is not getting the support she needs from her husband, who often spends time playing carroms with the neighbours. Sarita often gets choked at instances which remind her of a past experience at a reality show, before which they were a happy couple.

One night, Sarita hears noise from her kitchen sewage pipe and when she opens it, she gets a few cash-stuffed bags from the sewage water. It literally was “black money”, the money which came from black sewage water. She starts getting these cash bags every night and spends the cash on different requirements at home and even pays Sushanth’s debts, but chooses to keep it a secret. Amidst her struggles to hide it from people, the note ban announcement comes. Thus the premises were set up really nicely for a tense affair.

The movie does show the struggles of common people and bank employees alike during demonetization. An exhausted Sarita shouting at a helpless old lady who requested for withdrawal of extra money from her account, was an image that was relatable to the demonetization time. But demonetization is just a backdrop to the whole narrative here. The middle class family issues takes the center stage. A financially struggling family, a disturbed marriage, lazy husband and a desperate wife as the sole breadwinner of the family, were the prominant themes here amidst the tension of Sarita dealing with the banned cash bags in her custody. Unlike his  uncompromising previous works, Anurag Kashyap movie doesn’t speak politics loudly, probably influenced by writer Nihit Bhave. This stand has probably helped the storytelling, but it may not be so much enjoyable for the fans of the filmamker. Movie worked well for most parts. But the makers fumbled it to an extend in an attempt to end the movie on a happy note.

Saiyami Kher did total justice to her role of Sarita, while Roshan Mathew was brilliant as the work-shy Sushanth. Amrita Subhash as Sharvari Tai was outstanding with other supporting actors chipping in with fine performances. The cinematography by Sylvester Fonseca was top notch. The dark visual tone was much like Anugrag Kashyap’s previous movies. The background score by fusion maestro Karsh Kale was simply refreshing at times, especially the occasional drum scores.

The most important things to remember here is choked is neither Anurag Kashyap’s take on demonetization nor one of his uncompromising films which makes its politics clear. But it is a decent watch which had its fine moments.

Language : Hindi

By sreenathjvm

I am a healthcare professional. An ardent movie lover. Writing about movies forever has been an obsession.

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