A Blog on Cinema

Guest Review by Nikhi : Traffic


Rajesh Pillai’s debut movie, ‘Hrudayathil Sukshikkan’ which came out in the year 2005 was a poor copy of the Hollywood hit ‘Meet the Parents’. But his second movie ‘Traffic’ which is also the first Malayalam release of 2011 is not only an original one but also manages to keep you in the edge of the seat throughout it’s running time.

Traffic has 6 main characters -an aspiring journalist (Vineeth), his friend(Asif), a superstar(Rahman) and his family, a young cardiac surgeon(Kunchakko), his friend(Krishna), a police commissioner(Anup Menon) and a traffic police constable(Srinivasan). An accident changes their lives forever and how they tackle with it is what the story is about.(As I don’t believe in giving out the story line completely in the review, I am not going in further into it; find it for yourself at a theater near you!)

The good thing about the movie is it’s script which hooks you in completely. The better thing is that unlike it’s most recent counterpart (Cocktail) it’s genuine and not a frame to frame copy of some Canadian/Latin American flick which fakes as an original one. Almost all the characters have been etched out really well and the script writers have tried to give justification for almost all of their acts and deeds. The events unfold in a brisk manner, gives you a surprise every now and then, manages to tickle your funny bone (the interview sequence/the ‘politician’ scene) occasionally yet doesn’t end up as a big joke once it? is over (remember ‘Tournament’?).The interval punch is brilliant and keeps you guessing about the different probabilities that can happen.

Though the movie doesn’t have a hero or a heroine as such that hasn’t deterred the lead actors/actresses in delivering competent performances. All of them have performed brilliantly and the pick of the lot is Saikumar, playing the anguished father. Rahman, ?Anoop Menon, Asif Ali were also good. Kunchakko Boban was OK. Among the females it was Lena who had a meaty role though at times her dialogue was too silly and artificial.

Coming to the technical department you can’t find much flaw there with almost all the departments faring well. Special mention must be given to the brilliant bgm by Mejo Joseph and the cinematography by Shyju Khalid which matches the mood and tone of the film entirely. The editing is also tight with no unwanted scenes or unnecessary fights.

On the downside there are a few instances in the movie(especially towards the end) which defies logic(the colony scene for instance).Likewise it’s not clear why Dr Abel behaves in that manner once he realizes that the car has hit her(it’s pretty clear that she has no idea about the one who has hit her, from the previous scene).Similarly the whole idea of covering that much distance within a span of two hours also lacked believability.

All these flaws apart, ‘Traffic’ is the perfect entertainer for the season. It is the kind of cinema that thrills you, amuses you, frightens you and even makes you stand up and applaud once the show is over.


  1. I was actually waiting for the review of Traffic in Varnachitram, becoz i strongly feel Varnachitram do focus on quality and verdicts are always 3 dimensional.
    However i am dissappointed with the quality of the review, the approach, the analysis and more over the reviewer tends to be making statement than actaully reviewing the piece of work.
    I haven’t watched the movie..hence my displeasure is not against the verdict, or whether the movie is good or bad. Its just about the quality of analysis made. As an ardent fan of varnachitram, i expect even superior quality of work, because you guys have done it numerous times….All the Best

  2. Thanks for the review. I had seen the movie from Bangalore Vision Cinemas and agree with the reviewer for most of the part. Major disagreement is on his/her take on lena’s charecter. Was her dialgoues too silly and artifical ? I think the scene in which she shouts at kunjakko boban through phone was the best and most hard hitting scene in the movie, and she did the role well.

    Asif Ali proves that he is an actor to watch out for.He has improved quite a bit from the loud performance of apoorvaragam. Sreenivasan plays the role of the unsung hero for nth time, same case with the urbanised savvy Annop menon, and ofcourse nothing need to be said about the veteran Saikumar, who still surprises us with what he can do on screen .

    Bobby sanjay has garnished the script well and you won’t really note that the Abel part of the story is not really integral, but forced one to keep the viewer glued to the seat. Nevertheless this movie is the most refreshing one we have seen in malayalam for ages ( can say as refreshing as manichithratazhu or my dear kuttichathan)

    kudos to the entire crew .

    Guys don’t miss the movie.

  3. @ amal,

    i am sorry to disappoint you.I haven’t gone to much detail while writing review for this movie as it would have resulted in a lot of spoilers.Traffic is a thriller which runs for less than 2 hours and any detailed analysis would have spoiled the suspence in it.

    This may be a poor justification from the reviewer’s side,yet i thought i would give a reply to you.

    @vc: honestly, i don’t wish to bring down the high standards set by vc.You can delete the review if you feel like ,no probs.

  4. Nikhi,

    This is a decent review for it covers all the important points. I hope you will keep writing more reviews. One small suggestion I have is to increase the length of the review. Then you will think about more things to write which will improve it.

  5. Another aspect – its an honest review – not paid ones like sify and all.

  6. thanks jibs,

    will keep that in mind,next time.

  7. Good entertainer, good review.

    Thought the greatest strength of the movie was the compact sequence setting without redundant dialogues. Crisp, without much deadwood.

    Saikumar and Lena were the best actors. Thought Lena had the role with the best characterization. The house wife with bottled up frustration and the effectively single mother. She performed well, although she had some textbook dialogues to deliver.

    Too much emphasis on the roadtrip and its buildup was not appealing, but they are justifiable for commercial reasons.

    One q: how many times do you watch a movie before attempting a review?

  8. I feel the film overall was good, but i am strongly against the character of anoop menon, he just needs to grow up and mature a lot. I do not think that he is to fit in such mediocre and lacklustre roles as this. Anoop menon’s calibre (do not forget the fact that he received state award and filmfare award) acting is such a waste here in Traffic. The audience expects more hardwork from an actor persona like him. So, Traffic definitely does not suit his calibre.

  9. This movie is based on the 2004 film “CRASH”.
    Why so much hype about this movie ? People… please grow up, at least check whether everything is rational in a movie before you bark like a common dog. Not close to real life at all. Lena you should stick to what you do, don’t ever think you are some hot shot actress. acting should be natural. It goes for everyone in this movie, try to stick to natural acting, this is movie, not drama. vineeth srinivasan, please ruin songs only, why do you have to jump over to other areas too…

  10. at dileep vijayan
    this movie is neither a remake nor a copy of crash..only similarity is that in both movies there is a fatal accident.Think before you bark,dude!

  11. @Dileep: If I want to see only rational things, I would go up my stairs, pull out a chair and watch what is happening in the street.. well that too assuming that everything in real life is rational.

    Why there is a hype..?? I guess it is because Director Rajesh, Bobby and Sanjay planted a bomb in the Secretariat and asked the public to go gaga over the movie.

    And the movie is based on CRASH..? Oh my God..! I think I should ask for a refund of my ticket..because I had already seen Crash, I paid for them both and yet I did not realize they were based on the same story. You opened my eyes.

    I have heard about ‘common man’… but ‘common dog’.. that is a first time.. Priceless.

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