Choking Man is an intense blend of psychological drama and magical realism that encapsulates the contemporary immigrant experience in America. Jorge is a morbidly shy Ecuadorian dishwasher toiling away in a shabby Jamaica, Queens, New York diner run by Rick. He works all day long in the shadow of the ever-present Heimlich Maneuver instruction poster which hangs in the diner kitchen. From his solitary kitchen corner, Jorge gropes mutely for a bond with Amy, the newly hired Chinese waitress and even though she tries to reciprocate, the gulf that separates them may be too large. On the job he is continually tormented by his coworker Jerry and at home in his Harlem boarding, under the psychological control of his domineering 'roomate,' he battles his inner demons. Set in the vicinity of JFK airport, the most culturally diverse neighborhood in the world, Choking Man captures the feeling of claustrophobia and almost literal asphyxiation newcomers to America experience as they struggle to ... Written by
Independent, low budget movies are my favorites. Movies about characters more than what they do are my favorites. Gritty movies set in gritty locations are my favorites. Movies in which almost nothing happens are my favorites. Movies filmed in New York are my favorites because New York is my home and my favorite place on earth. So I had great expectations for Choking Man, because it looked like it had nearly everything I love most in a movie. Man, was I disappointed!
This is a phony, manipulative and unrelentingly annoying movie. It's as phony, manipulative and unrelentingly annoying as a 1980s sitcom with a too-loud laugh track. Every character is a caricature: the dumb immigrant is EXTREMELY dumb; the old, brassy, heart-of-gold waitress is EXTREMELY brassy and gold-hearted; the gruff diner owner with a heart of gold is EXTREMELY gruff and gold-hearted; the obnoxious Irish bully is EXTREMELY obnoxious; the sweet Chinese girl is so sweet she made my teeth hurt. There is not one believable human being in the whole cast. I hated this movie.
People who go on and on about how great this movie is must love American television, because that's exactly where this movie belongs, as a TV movie on the Hallmark Channel or Lifeline or even on NBC or ABC or Fox. It takes all the things that can make a movie great and cheapens and twists them into a revolting, irritating glob of phony, rigged, forced emotionalism. This is no quirky, gritty, unconventional independent masterpiece. It is as predictable and conventional and crummy and corny and irritating as an episode of The Waltons.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?