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By Bob Westal | January 28, 2005

Barry (Anslem Richardson) teaches CPR to a gym class at what appears to be a private boys’ school. The boys are less interested in life saving than they are in abusing an asthmatic youth. Later, they make Barry’s life a living hell by, among other things, wrapping his entire car in cellophane. (Thee boys might be mean-spirited, but they’re certainly not lazy!) This then leads Barry to, apparently, question the very idea of life-saving.

Directed and co-written by NYU thesis candidate Brad Barnes, “Choked” doesn’t lack for drama, but the conflict within its central character lacks clarity. And, in any case, are we really supposed to believe that a grown, professional CPR instructor can be so disillusioned by the behavior of bullies that he may deliberately fail to save an endangered man?

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