Chokehold (2023) ‘Netflix’ Movie Ending, Explained: The new Netflix release – ‘Chokehold’ (Original title: Boga Boga), is an engrossing psychological thriller. Written by Hakan Gunday and directed by Onur Saylak, this Turkish-language film is a clever deconstruction of the themes of greed and corruption. Despite its relatively thin plot, what stands out is its deft editing choices and deliberate pacing. (Mad props to the film’s editor, Ali Aga!)
Akin to Walter White’s character arc, Chokehold’s well-educated protagonist starts breaking bad after his secret becomes public knowledge. Set in a small Turkish town, it uses time and space to its advantage to build an atmospheric drama. Its narrative spends a lot of time exploring the characters’ psychological states than just following the plot. In short, instead of relying on just what happens in the characters’ lives, it focuses on how it impacts them from a psychological and moral standpoint.
Chokehold (2023) Detailed Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:
After spending years in the city of Istanbul, Yalin Bey (played by Kivanç Tatlitug) and Beyza (played by Funda Eryigit) decide to move to his family home from a village in the Aegean region. The film begins with Yalin driving there with a cactus plant in the backseat while listening to the audiobook of Jack London’s Burning Daylight. It mirrors the dismal, grey world Yalin is about to enter. In the morning, he plants the cactus in the backyard while Beyza stoically watches him from the inside.
Later, Yalin goes to a local shop for some groceries. The shopkeeper shares how Yalin always used to tip him when he came there. He asks for advice for the gold in his possession, thinking Yalin would have a sensible, educated solution. Suddenly, the man’s father arrives and refuses to sell anything to Yalin. He says that their store is not yet open. We realize that there is clearly some bad blood between them. Anyhow, Yalin returns home to be greeted by Beyza with a paperback for him to read since he will have more time for leisure.
Later, a village man comes in and shows an apple tree he planted – knowing that Yalin’s father always wanted to have one. Then he shares a big basket with olive oil as a welcome gift to the village. In the news, we hear how Yalin’s four business partners were arrested while he got out on the charges of a Ponzi scheme. Beyza relieves him by saying they should look forward to their new life in this village.
The next day, Yalin drives to a local antique store and keeps looking around for a gift. The shopkeeper notices him and starts pestering him. Turns out, it is not about the sale but about his suspicion that Yalin is one of those educated folks who would steal something from him. While Yalin is about to leave, the man holds him from the back and starts to strangle him. After making an effort to save his life, he and Yalin start wrestling on the ground. The man holds a glass, intent on stabbing Yalin. He fails, and then Yalin just decides to hit back with a sculpture.
Yalin looks in horror at what he just did. After his initial shock, he decides to drive away from the man’s body. Then after a few moments, he drives back, wraps that man inside a mattress, and drives to the woods. He drags the body to a hilltop and breathless, drives back home.
The story of Eubulus and Aristotle
With Bayza, Yalin attends an event organized by a local man – Daim (played by Gürgen Öz), an admirer of Yalin. He shares an age-old story of banker-turned-king Eubulus, who used ongoing war for profiteering. Since the Persians could not pay him back, he acquired all their lands. Once he died, his slave got possession of his empire who brought Aristotle, one of the greatest thinkers. So the man concludes how his place has always attracted great thinkers, one of them being Yalin, in his opinion. But Yalin is caught up in a battle with his conscience. He cannot reciprocate Daim’s interest and stays aloof.
The next day, Beyza and some other local women ask Yalin to join them for a walk in the woods. He initially refuses but eventually agrees. While driving there, the women speak about the difference between urban and rural lives. One of them argues whether the ‘comforts’ of urban life are really comforts. Yalin is meanwhile lost in his own thoughts. On the way, he sees a man holding a sign saying ‘Kurban’ (sacrificial lambs). It may be just a projection of his mind. Nonetheless, it makes him restless.
When they reach the woods, the women start walking around while Yalin reluctantly participates. Soon after, a local cop – Selami Toker, notices Yalin’s car and asks him whether he would like to join for hunting. Yalin agrees. On their walk, Selami shares Cevdet’s story – the same man that Yalin killed the day before. The cop says that Cevdet has been missing. Since Yalin’s car was last observed around his shop, Selami questions him about it.
Yalin covers up the murder by saying that he bought something and left in the afternoon. Selami, however, seems certain that Yalin has something to do with Cevdet’s murder. Turns out, Yalin scammed residents from this village with his Ponzi scheme – where most of them lost their life savings. So, while until then, Selami indirectly conveyed his suspicion, now he says that all the villagers are out for Yalin’s blood. He shares his own desire to get rid of Yalin and also threatens that Yalin’s murder will go unpunished.
As a result, Yalin gets scared out of his wits. He returns home with an axe hidden under his coat. But he does not tell Beyza about this threat. Later that night, he goes back to the woods and lies next to Cevdet’s dead body. Meanwhile, Beyza gets worried about Yalin’s eerie silence and ghostlike presence. Besides, Yalin does not share what Selami, and he spoke about. So, she also gets concerned that he is hiding something from her.
Once Beyza leaves the house, Yalin calls his lawyer to seek advice about the murder. Yalin starts narrating the story but stops midway and says that he will call back later. The lawyer says that if there is any unfavorable development from his side, his deal with the DA (for ratting out on his partners) will be off the table. Upon hearing that, Yalin starts sobbing. Later, in the middle of the night, he wakes up due to a sound. He walks out to find the gifted apple plant uprooted and placed upside down. He walks up to the oil barrel to find his name on the top reduced to say, ‘Mister Snake.’ Inside, he finds a dead, bloodied serpent.
It makes Yalin paranoid. The next day, he refuses to leave his house and keeps practicing attacking people with any weapon he has. It is clear that he is going increasingly insane with every passing moment due to the constant threats. Later, he hears a sound and starts walking out with a knife in his hand. He reaches the curtains to see Cevdet peeking at him. Yalin gets terrified and starts shouting.
Meanwhile, Beyza goes to meet her friend. She shares how she got tired of her bank job and, thus, sought solace in this reclusive village. Later, she surprises Yalin with a new haircut while he stays scared by the locals’ gaze. Selami sends him a voice message and asks to come to his office to speak about Cevdet’s murder and his version of what happened. So, Yalin goes back to the woods to burn Cevdet’s clothes.
Yalin meets Daim to seek his advice on the matter of villagers out to kill him. Daim says that he need not worry about these folks, who are just as greedy as him. He says that no one forced them to invest their money into Yalin’s scheme and calls them money hungry, wanting to be rich. He sees money as a clear and simple investment and nothing more. Meanwhile, another man, who gave most of his wealth into this scheme, burns himself to death because of losing all of it.
Yalin is concerned about who ratted him out about his involvement in the scam. Because of it, he has also been banned from international travel. While he speaks with his lawyer about it, a local man tries to attack him with a shovel. Yalin saves himself and starts running away. Eventually, he chokes that man to death. Upon realizing what he just did, he starts shouting that the man had a heart attack. Then, within a matter of moments, he starts driving away.
Later at night, Yalin brings the man’s body back to the woods to throw it in a pit next to Cevdet’s body. A passerby notices him and then tells others to move ahead. Meanwhile, Beyza meets a local friend over for drinks and talks about Yalin’s never-ending greed. She says that she just wanted peace by moving to this village. But with Yalin’s restlessness, she cannot find it. Back at home, Yalin starts crying on Beyza’s shoulder.
The next day, Beyza notices a text on Yalin’s phone while he is away. They have breakfast together, but she does not speak a word about it. Afterward, he drives to a nearby shore and finds the boy that noticed him in the woods. He approaches the boy and asks for help to cross to the other side, to Lesbos in Greece. He accepts in exchange for Yalin’s car. Yalin agrees, goes back home, and thoroughly cleans his car.
Later, Yalin and Beyza go to a local concert. Yalin cannot bear the stares from the villagers and walks away to seek solitude. Later in the bathroom, a man approaches him to shoot with his gun. Turns out, his gun has no bullet, and he ends up shooting a blank. Yalin takes advantage of that moment and starts to wrestle with him. Eventually, he ends up attacking the man repeatedly to the point of his death. He drags the man’s body and throws it nearby in a tank.
Does Yalin tell Beyza about the threats from the villagers?
Afterward, Yalin drives back home with Beyza and shares his plan to leave the village the next day. Then, he says that the locals are out for his blood. Yalin also shares about the man in the bathroom trying to shoot him. He shoves out the cactus he brought from the city and takes out a suitcase. He goes inside the home and tells Beyza that they are not safe in the country. So he has planned to cross the borders and go to Lesbos. He opens the bag and shows over one million euros that he stole from the people under the name of his scheme. He thinks that it will satisfy her, but it doesn’t.
Chokehold (2023) ‘Netflix’ Movie Ending Explained:
Who was the whistleblower in Yalin’s Ponzi scheme? Who ratted out Yalin’s involvement in the scam?
Beyza finally reveals that she is the whistleblower. She says that the money belongs to the people and not him. He feels betrayed and asks why she did it despite their love. She says how she had to abandon her family to be with him. That in itself, how much she loves him. However, she could not bear the stress back in Istanbul. She says that he was like a scarecrow in the city, stuffed with all the money, with birds hovering around, finding a chance to attack him.
Yalin realizes that she wanted the move not because he can reinvent his life but out of her fear. Besides, he cannot bear this betrayal. He could have tolerated her cheating on him, but not this. So, in the heat of the moment, he attacks her with a hammer and kills her. She keeps wheezing with whatever little life is left in her. He decides to take her body out to his backyard and throws it in a pit.
Does Yalin escape to Greece as he planned?
The next day, Yalin bails out on his plan for escape. Instead, he fills the gifted barrel with all the stolen money and keeps it in front of a local shop. The shopkeeper finds it and alerts other residents, including the police. So, Selami learns about it and, afterward, drives to Yalin’s place. He says how jail time would be hell for someone like Yalin, who is educated and filthy rich. He says that those like Yalin do not even have the guts to commit suicide despite their fear or stress.
Selami shares how all the people, the locals, that have been missing in the last few days are concluded to have crossed the sea. Beyza’s local friend comes there and asks him about her. He does not reveal that he killed her. Back at his house, he believes that Beyza is peeking at him. Soon after, the locals arrive at his house and sit next to him. Everyone behaves as if nothing has happened and everything is fine. Even the dog that was barking at Yalin the night before sits next to him and becomes subservient.
What is the Turkish drama ‘Chokehold’ on Netflix about?
At the end of Chokehold, the villagers sit next to Yalin at his table and behave as if nothing happened. Before that, Selami says that Yalin won’t survive prison time. He also concludes the disappearance of Cevdet and two other locals and says that they crossed the sea. All in all, everyone forgets the grudge when they get back their money. Even the dog becomes oddly obedient despite his barking from the previous night.
What is the meaning of the last frame from Chokehold?
It shows how everyone is just as greedy, and until they have money, they have no issues. As Daim says earlier, they all want to be rich and look for a quick solution to do so. Although Daim’s prophecy was more self-serving and a way to justify his or Yalin’s moral corruption, the point he makes isn’t completely inadmissible. In the last frame, they all break the fourth wall and look at us, the viewers. So it is a way to make us evaluate ourselves in respect of our greed and loss of conscience. What would we do if we were in their shoes? The last frame wants to ask us this question.