Netflix launched a new Hindi drama movie titled Chocked: Paisa Bolta Hai directed by Anurag Kashyap. The movie basically talks about the kind of circumstances that occurred in people’s lives (especially among the lower middle class) during the time of the historical Demonetization in 2016. All of us are aware of how demonetization affected the livelihood of the lower middle class or even middle class people; yet, media propagated it as the biggest attack on black money, terrorism, or Naxalism.
I shall not give a spoiler by narrating the story, but I think I must give the context that may motivate you to watch this beautiful movie.
Chocked: Paisa Bolta Hai is a story of a lower middle class women Sarita (Saiyami Kher) who lives in a four-storeyed building in Mumbai. She wanted to become a good singer but ended up as a bank employee. She lives with her unemployed husband Shrikant (Roshan Methew) and a school-going son.
She is not at all happy with her life due to the mundanity of her life where she works the whole day and returns only to find a dirty and empty kitchen. She is struggling to earn more money, and surprisingly, one day, found some pouches of money from her kitchen sink. Her husband is an aspiring musician but now sits jobless due to his nature.
And then, the historical demonetization happened.
After seeing the kind of anxiety Sarita had after the demonetization, I could remember my father, a banker by occupation. No one could really understand the life of banker who were working day and night at that time. People even claim that the bankers got the opportunity to make money in the time demonetization. People approached the bankers and some even threatened them to change their notes.
I remember my father used to spend the whole day till midnight in the bank and used to come home very tired. In the movie, Sarita played the role of an honest banker. She did nothing wrong except hiding the money that she found in sink, that too she could not use. She was living an anxious mundane life, while at the same time her husband and other people were celebrating the demonetization.
These scenes are really wonderful, and you may enjoy if you have some sense about human rights. Her husband ignored the tiredness of his wife and celebrated attack on black money or terrorism.
Here I would like to mention some interesting scenes captured in the movie.
A very old woman comes to bank and finds that she can only get ₹4,000 after standing in the queue for hours. There are many such incidents that happened during the demonetization. She requested Sarita to give more money as she cannot come back tomorrow due to health concerns. Sarita replied, “Hume hath mat jodo unko jodo jinko vote diya tha.” (Don’t beg us, beg the people you voted for.) It’s true; in the present socio-political society we are only asking questions to the government employees, not elected members.
In another scene, a friend of Sushant (Sarita’s husband) tells him that this demonetization compelled rich people to stand in queue to exchange their black money; we all know who were standing in queues to exchange money—the lower middle class. People with black money had contacts and never stood in queue.
One lady, a neighbour of Sarita, could not arrange a marriage ceremony of her only daughter due to demonetization. She went mad with despair when our beloved Prime Minister announced demonetization, lamenting that she would lose everything if the marriage did not happen. Oeople could not do anything.
So these are some important scenes from Choked. I would highly recommend you to watch this wonderful movie. It’s good that it released on Netflix; our government might have banned it from theatres. All character played very powerful roles. Stay home and watch this, because all of us are chocked.