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Home Movies Reviews ‘Chokehold’ (2023) Netflix Movie Review - A Suffocating and Ostentatious Film

‘Chokehold’ (2023) Netflix Movie Review - A Suffocating and Ostentatious Film

The movie follows a couple from Istanbul, who restarts in a town on the Aegean coast after escaping a scandal, but soon realize that the locals are determined to get rid of them

Vikas Yadav - Fri, 21 Apr 2023 13:30:58 +0100 5666 Views
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The most noteworthy thing about Onur Saylak's Chokehold is its flair for capturing the quiet village atmosphere. Cinematographer Feza Çaldiran records the babbling brooks and rustling of leaves with such sharpness and intimacy that the whole Assos comes to life on the small screen (the movie is streaming on Netflix). While Çaldiran involves us through his images, Saylak undermines his efforts by detaching us from the story written by Hakan Gunday. Instead of putting flesh and blood into the plot, Saylak goes for posturing. The characters stare at each other like statues, and the frames look dead as if someone has sucked all the air out of them. No wonder the title of this film is Chokehold. The moody posture suffocates the viewer as well as the movie. It's all lifeless and limp.

Since Chokehold unfolds in Assos, Aristotle is seen and mentioned in the movie. The Greek philosopher's writings covered various subjects like zoology, biology, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, music, psychology, and economics. Saylak, too, tries to cover vast ground. Do you want ethics and economics? Yalin (Kivanç Tatlitug) is accused of embezzling $100 million "from victim investors." Do you want music? A symphony performance is used to convert someone's punches into musical beats. How about biology and poetry? The sex between Yalin and his wife, Beyza (Funda Eryigit), dissolves into a gorgeous landscape. And what about zoology and psychology? The characters call Yalin a snake, and we see a man holding a "sacrificial lambs" board at one point. The characters in Chokehold are like animals. They do what's best for their survival and sacrifice lives for their benefit. A police officer mentions that he will not take any action against anyone who goes after Yalin's life. The laws are swept aside, and everyone is out hunting.

If Yalin is a snake, then the other characters are chameleons. They are initially hostile towards him, but when they see money, they establish a friendship with him and indulge in merry conversations at his house. Everybody sits on the chair like a well-behaved dog, and on top of that, an actual dog joins them to strike a pose. It's all blatant, but what else could you expect from a film where the camera briefly looks at a statue with a snake around its neck when Yalin chokes a man. On the one hand, Chokehold presents its points in an unsubtle manner, and on the other, it intentionally puts up a solemn appearance to look ruminative and...subtle. As a result, there is so much conflict and mismatch going on at the filmmaking level that the whole movie collapses on itself.

The movie hits us with a twist near the finish line, and it could have landed if that character had not seemed to exist in the margins and mostly away from our sights before this moment. After treating that someone almost like a cipher, Chokehold suddenly gives out a lot of information, and it feels as if it's desperately engineering everything for the sake of the twist. Tatlitug's performance after a while becomes an exercise in sustaining a single dour expression. Other actors are unable to even register their presence.

Chokehold, alas, is ostentatious and lacking in great ideas. It takes Aristotle's sculpture and transforms it into a lethal weapon. That's precisely what this film is. It pretends to be profound but is merely a showy slasher. The body count rises, and the killer is saved from comeuppance. The lesson may be that evil triumphs in this materialistic world, but that message is delivered in an airless package that does not look inviting at all.

Final Score- [4/10]
Reviewed by - Vikas Yadav
Follow @vikasonorous on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times



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