Normally I spend the afternoon before classes attempting to get school work done but usually getting little more accomplished than getting my email checked before rushing out to catch the bus. So I figure I've had a more productive Tuesday than many in the simple act of shaking things up and making a visit to the local "cheap" Popcorn Stadium, which apparently is even cheaper than normal on Tuesdays (score!). I saw Choke and came out of the dark (romantic) comedy feeling somewhere in a nice place between depression, happiness, and few hours worth of useful schadenfreude drained from my system.

Choke, at least in film form as I have yet to read either novel, has some rough parallels to Fight Club, and its very easy for me to say that I enjoyed Choke much more than I enjoyed Fight Club. Part of that is just that Choke seems to have a few of the motifs that drew me to Fight Club, but doused in a darker humor (and I like dark humor) and more fully centered with, to me, a stronger through-narrative and connecting motif. The connecting motif to the film being that the main character Victor, portrayed by Sam Rockwell [1], is ultimately strung through a series of fantasy worlds and can be seen ultimately as a redemptive tale of coping with false realities, and this motif certainly says things to me. (I think this can be particularly contrasted with the darker Fight Club motif of building false realities out of boredom and need.)

I certainly think things are better because they are redemptive. Victor, to some extent, wins some control over his false realities as the movie progresses, even as some of the facts of true reality are slowly doled out to him. If there is an epitaph for the film for me, it might be that the beauty of a false reality is that it can be controlled, it can be gamed, it can be "won". Even if as a dark comedy nobody really learns anything or that the false realities are all that much preferable to dark reality... But that could just be my own point of view of the film and my own fascinations with false realities shining through.

[1]Whom I entirely believe in even a bad performance is infinitely more watchable than many better known actors, and this was a good performance.