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TRAFFIC (2011/Malayalam) - That's how real life gives you stories to be adapted as a spellbinding, engrossing film for the starving viewers. (Review by Bobby Sing)

04 May, 2016 | Movie Reviews / 2011 Releases / Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi)

It’s said that life itself gives you enough exciting plots to be portrayed in stories, novels or films if one has got ‘the eye’ to look at the happenings and people around. The fact gets rightly proved by this terrific Malayalam film TRAFFIC, reportedly based on a real life mission successfully carried out by Tamil Nadu Police through the much more crowded roads and complex situations in the city of Chennai.

The incident inspired writer duo Bobby-Sanjay to come up with a tight, spellbinding script adding many realistic characters into the actual event. And director (Late) Rajesh Pillai transformed it into a well-crafted big screen experience with a genuinely raw feel getting the much needed support from his talented cast led by an amazingly subtle yet highly effective lead performance from Sreenivasan. One of the first experimental movies incorporating multi-narratives interlinked with each other in Indian regional cinema (similar to few foreign flicks), TRAFFIC is also considered as the film initiating the “New Age Cinema Wave” in Malayalam Film Industry in the year 2011.
Following no set formulas of storytelling, it simply narrates the series of events leading to a shocking tragedy, linking four distinctive families through an unexpected coincidence.  An honest narration sticking to its core subject revolving around a brutal accident and heart transplant scheduled within a fixed time frame, TRAFFIC is the story of a single day and few particular hours wherein ‘A Live Heart’ should reach from one hospital to the other by road in a record timing, that realistically looks like impossible keeping in mind the maddening traffic on the streets.
With many brutal and unpredictable twists and turns intelligently incorporated in the script, the film is a largely satisfying experience with enough emotional as well as thrilling memorable moments that leave a lasting impact on the viewers after it’s all over. It begins calmly building the connections between its unrelated characters, but then makes every minute count once the operation begins with Sreenivasan raising his hand in the important emergency meeting. Following a sincere approach right from its opening sequence to the last, TRAFFIC is certainly one of those genuinely path breaking projects converting a newspaper headline into an exciting cinematic thriller, smartly overcoming the issue of a predictable climax.
Having said that, the film does have some weak characterizations and unconvincing twists in its particular sub-plot of ‘love-betrayal-revenge’ getting sorted quite easily without any proper justifications. But the visual tension, superbly created in its second hour by the energetic cinematography (Shyju Khalid), water-tight editing (Mahesh Narayanan) and a highly pulsating background score (Mejo Joseph), do not let you think about anything else (at least while watching the film, remaining more interested in the result of its life-saving expedition).
(Spoliers Ahead)
Another worth mentioning merit of TRAFFIC is the inclusion of few well-written ‘eye opener’ sequences in its thoughtful script that bluntly reveals the real face of our society clearly functioning under the influence of all rich and the powerful. For instance, the heart wrenching scene where a father is being requested to let his young son die and even the politicians of the city are making a call for the same, just because it’s the case related to a movie superstar. Also the whole city’s traffic getting manipulated by the authorities themselves, forces you to think that would they have all reacted in the same manner if there was a poor person’s daughter lying in the ICU waiting for ‘The Heart Transplant’?
Anyway, keeping this scary social paradox aside (capable of sending you into a thinking mode), TRAFFIC needs to be seen as an entertaining as well as enlightening, inspiring film talking about the power of coincidence in our unpredictable lives. Offering an exciting roller coaster ride in its final hour, the film can easily be rated as one of the best fast paced thrillers in Indian cinema with an unusual realistic backdrop inspired from a true incident.
Rating : 3.5 + 0.5 / 5 (with an additional 0.5 for the excellent background score and much appreciable social theme sarcastically looking upon the ‘Power of being a Celebrity’)

Tags : Traffic Malayalam Film Review by Bobby Sing, Traffic 2011 Malayalam Movie Review by Bobby Sing, Regional Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Must watch Indian Regional Films, Not to be missed Indian Regional Cinema, Must Watch Indian Regional Cinema.
04 May 2016 / Comment ( 0 )
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