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Choking Man Review

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The social anxiety of a morbidly shy Ecuadorian dishwasher working in a Queens diner provides the psychological engine that powers this blend of drama and magical realism.

★★★★★

Steve Barron revisits the animated inserts of A-Ha’s Take On Me promo in this muted slice of underdog realism. Aimed at conveying the inarticulate emotions of dishwasher Octavio Gómez Berríos, the reveries instead detract from the realism of theQueens locale where Mandy Patinkin’s diner hosts an eclectic, ethnic clientele. Egged on by his figmentary conscience, Berríos dotes shyly on waitress Eugenia Yuan and resents workmate Aaron Paul, whose brash charm seems to be having more effect. However, the ending proves anti-climactic, and despite efforts to impart a little tension and human interest, the tale is told with such discretion, it’s almost anonymous.

Despite efforts to impart a little tension and human interest, the tale is told with such discretion, it’s almost anonymous.

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