Skip to main content

Traffic Review - Malayalam Movie Review

-->
A pacy, interesting film from Rajesh Pillai – that’s what I’d say and many cheers to the writers - Bobby and Sanjay! The visuals by Shyju Khalid are awesome, so is the music. It is almost unbelievable that Rajesh Pillai has made such a remarkable comeback, following the pathetic debut that he had made with the movie Hridayathil Sookshikkan – a movie that is worth not remembering at all. He’s made the best kind of comeback in the movie industry – churning out a big superhit.  

Traffic Malayalam Movie Review: The Story
The story unfolds on a day that changes the lives of four families whose diverse lives cross paths because of an accident that takes place, something we can easily relate to.

It begins with a young budding journalist, Rehan (starring Vineeth Sreenivasan) is thrilled to conduct his first interview with a super star (starring actor Rahman). Alongwith his best friend, Rajeev (starring Asif Ali - budding talent, great potential), Rehan sets out to conduct the interview. Aditi (starring Kaadhal Sandhya), is the special girl in Rehan's life though she is struggling emotionally after her divorce, and she sees him off. Meanwhile, Dr. Abel (Kunchacko Boban) travels with his dear friend (starring Krishna) with plans to surprise his wife Shwetha (starring Remya Nambeesan) with a brand new car to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

Two central characters are played by Sreenivasan as Sudevan, a police constable who resumes service after suspension for having accepted bribes and Rahman donning the role of a superstar named Siddharth, and the role of his wife is played by Lena, who is constantly worried about their daughter’s critical health condition. A small but meaty role is played by Roma as Miriam, Manager at an FM Radio station.

Traffic Malayalam Movie Review: Urban Life in Kerala

On the way, there is an accident that throws into our focus several diverse issues touching the lives of those who are affected. The ripple effect is captured beautifully, so are the implications. Bobby and Sanjay's script reveals some of the most disturbing problems facing the growing elite class in Kerala, a conservative state once known for its simple and healthy way of life but fast becoming a highly material state, where cyber crimes and divorce rates are competing neck-to-neck along with pornography rackets that target upper class girls and making it unsafe for women to travel in and let alone, have ice creams in ice cream parlors!

For example, it exposes the social hypocrisy and ‘recommendation’ malaise that is hugely spreading across Kerala. For everything and anything, we have the tendency to get recommendations. In this film, a police constable who was suspended for taking bribes uses local political pressure to get back into service again. Again, another instance in the same movie shows how a boy’s father is harassed by politicians and bureaucrats who come with recommendations asking for the boy’s life to be permitted to end! Then, again, the police force in the state is pressurized by political and medical recommendation to take a huge risk in manipulating traffic to safeguard the interest of an influential Superstar. In this movie, every minute is made to count because it involves constant twists and turns and as a film viewer, you wouldn’t like to miss any of it. 

While the habits and lifestyles of the growing upper middle class of Kerala is interesting to watch, it is hardly inspiring because they get things done with an unfair advantage, that too ironically, in a Communist State! The paradox is unfortunate and it tells us that those who have power, whether as media, film stars, politicians or doctors, can get what they want using their power of influence and the rest of us end up getting nothing.

Traffic Malayalam Movie Review: Some brilliant performances and some are not 
In this movie, the story telling was brilliant and one of the best written screenplays in recent years. 

We saw some brilliant performances from Sai Kumar, Sreenivasan, Sandhya and in particular, Anoop Menon, whose performance was subtle, classy and totally extracting the best out of him as an artist.

Personally, I felt that the characterization of certain roles could have been exploited fully and been better etched out by the writers, if they had looked beyond storytelling and towards the growth of the actors involved. Writers and directors share the responsibility of extracting the best out of their characters, a rare strength displayed by wiser veterans like MT Vasudevan Nair, Lohitha Das and others.

For example, the role played by Kunchako Boban, who is an actor with several strengths, was not good enough to add depth and substance to the body of work that he has done earlier. His key strengths were not exploited fully.

The role of Remya Nambisan is vague and unclear, giving us no insight that justifies her behavior in the latter part of the movie. But I have to say this: she looks stunning in her new sexy avatar. She has not had such a sensational makeover in any Malayalam movie before Traffic. 

A drawback in the Traffic movie plot - All the assumptions we make are from the song sequences and that is not a fair way of depicting a character that triggers extreme reactions towards the second half of the movie.


Traffic Malayalam Movie Review: Rehman & Lena
Rehman is natural and definitely effortless in depicting the obvious snobbery of a super star. His acting is flawless, as always. However, as a loyal Rehman fan, I would prefer not to see him doing negative roles. 

Lena too acts well in some scenes where her maternal instincts take over her complacence but there is clear inconsistency in the overall sketching of her character. At most times, she resists her husband’s narcissism and is critical of her husband’s ‘super star’ attitude but when it comes to her daughter, she becomes more assertive of exploiting his stardom to get over regulatory obstacles.

Perhaps this can be justified as how any normal mother would behave, but then as a star wife, she constantly complains and never encourages her husband’s work, yet she takes utmost advantage of that to keep her daughter alive. Something is just not consistent in the character sketching. Or perhaps, the writers were attempting to portray her as a woman of strengths and weaknesses with equal weightage.

Traffic Malayalam Movie Review: My Verdict
Like in a painting, a book or even a commercial advertisement, as a film viewer, I look forward to receiving a hidden message through a movie. Sometimes, the message is there and it is up to the viewer to decode it and at other times, it is right there, staring at you in the face but in an unforgettable way. The films made by some of Malayalam’s classic directors such as Padmarajan, Bharathan, Sibi Malayil and Sathyan Anthikad are examples of this school of thought. This movie had everythingelse.

Traffic Malayalam movie is a good, thought provoking, one-time watch and best seen in theaters.

Comments

Anonymous said…
great review ..Lena's character was fake..I was thinking about it..
Jzt 4 me... said…
Uhm...even I loved the movie...

Still some things was too much to accept...especially, the scene where they go thru some Chawls and all...

And Lena...lol..some of her dialogues at the end of the movie, really made the audience to Booohhh..at her..

But then, this is one movie, where I saw the audience appluading even after the movie closed title...
@Anonymous - Good to hear I am not the only one who felt the characterization could have been better.

@Jzt4me - True. I too felt the scenes relating to the chawls were unrealistic.

Most Popular Posts

The Ugly Truth about Caste in Kerala

Many years ago, when I wrote this post on Kerala's caste system, I had not considered the possibility that my thoughts and my personal journey would receive such online abuse or that I would be seen as some one who was trying to insult other castes. The intention of writing is always to share an experience and not to insult others. My experience of motherhood and marriage would be different from yours. When I write about my experience, it is illogical to shout that as being insulting to your experience because our journeys are entirely different narratives. 

My question is - why do you ABUSE any caste or person here? You are free to disagree but why do you ABUSE? How does that reflect on YOU?

In my article, I shared what trials I went through, without any intention to insult any community.The intention of my article is to question - why are we even exchanging insults over an issue called caste? 

Should we not be aspiring to be above caste considerations instead of abusing each other …

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Meaning, Benefit of Chanting and Who can Chant the Mantra

Mahadmrityunjaya Mantra: Benefit of chanting this mantra nee

There are very few mantras that are as powerful as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. Do read my post: Does Mahamrityunajaya mantra really work?Of course, it does but you need to undertstand the meaning and significance of the mantra first.
This mantra is believed to have the power to remove all sufferings, diseases and bestow the one who chants it with good health and long life. It is also believed that constant contemplation of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra can help spiritual aspirants to overcome the cycle of birth and death.
What got me fascinated about this mantra is something personal.  I learned this mantra from my father but it is my maternal grandmother who chanted it all the time and repeatedly told me of its tremendous power to protect. However, I did not chant this mantra regularly. [ Do READ: THE POWER OF LOVE]
But at the age of two, my son was taught some mantras by my mother who explained what it means to him and he becam…

Amazing Signs You are an Earth Angel

Doreen Virtue’s book, “Assertiveness for Earth Angels” brings to life the reality of Earth Angels in very easy way. It’s an exciting must-read! 

[DO READ: The POWER OF LOVE]

Earth Angels have amazing superpowers in: MusicArtsWriting HealingManifesting miracles for others such as controlling weather conditions and  becoming invisible at will.
[MUST READ: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He loves]
DO READ: ASK MORE, FEAR LESS.

How to Identify Earth Angels by their Traits
To know whether you are an Earth Angel, take a look at their known traits that are explained in this book:


You have a graceful and compassionate aura that inspires people.Your presence “lifts” everyone to happier spirits – it is proof of who you really are.You don’t judge others but you overdo the “acceptance” bit. So, you tolerate even those who show no respect for boundaries.You cannot stand anyone suffering or being in pain. You are constantly “rescuing people” because it is in your nature to want to see everyone happy in …

Sage Tiruvalluvar's golden advice on how friendship affects your life

Ruzbeh N Bharucha's latest book, ICE with Very Unusual Spirits, is a book that I have absolutely enjoyed reading. While reading every chapter, I began to contemplate a lot on the friendships in my life, as the book blends in some of the most valuable teachings of Sage Tiruvalluvar and Sai Baba of Shirdi. The essence of the book revolves around true friendship and how it can make us not just more human but it can make us divine beings too.




As human beings, we thrive on friendship. These days, I've started wondering, ''Is there real friendship out there?'' From experiences that span four decades now (yeah, I am that old!), I am beginning to wonder about the authenticity of most ''friendships.'' [Do read: How to Console a Friend who Lost her Spouse]

A friend whom we knew since childhood days invites us home for dinner but when we visit, we don't get served dinner, but popcorn. Our mistake? We arrived in an auto, instead of a taxi (it is a differe…

Why love matters - Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh has an amazing insight to share!

What is love? It means different things to different people. 

Have you thought about it? Do read: POWER OF LOVE

When a mother loves her child, have you noticed that the mother's love doesn't change with time or place or even when a child does not reciprocate it? 

Perhaps there is none of the ''my happiness', 'my priority', 'my desires' sort of mentality in the relationship. There is an element of being desireless, in the sense, that the mother wants no material or physical gain from the relationship. The mother may have big dreams of her child becoming X,Y and Z but not necessarily to materially benefit from this. Being itself is enough. 'Being a Mother' is tinged with a sense of happiness despite all the daily struggles and challenges that it brings.

Typically a mother is so engrossed and involved in raising her child, without a sense of a separation of the Self. In a sense, everything else ceases to matter. That kind of love doesn't change…

Ravi Shankar Etteth's novel 'The Brahmin' unravels secrets and mysteries of Mauryan Empire under Emperor Asoka

Set with thrilling historical details and unforgettable characters, Ravi Shankar Etteth's novel 'The Brahmin' kept me glued from start to finish.  The story of 'The Brahmin' revolves around a skillful and ruthless spymaster of Emperor Asoka's court, whose intelligence and cunning helps him to unravel a dangerous mystery of the 'Blood Flower' unfolding across the corridors of power.  


What is it about 'The Brahmin' that allows him to be treated almost an equal by Emperor Asoka?  He even commands the respect of Queen Asandhimitra, who comes to his advice as a friend. Her emotional dependence on 'the Brahmin' is clear as crystal, further strengthened in the narrative through scenes where it seems that she secretly adores the man who can safeguard her husband's powerful empire as well as command the loyalty of Greek soldiers like Antochlius.
More interestingly, the portrayal of powerful and fearless women warriors like Hao and beautiful en…

A Book Review: Custody by Manju Kapur

Manju Kapur's fifth novel – following her highly acclaimed works such as Difficult Daughters (1998) and The Immigrant (2009) – explores the tumultous relationships once again set in the thriving, upper-middle-class colonies of Delhi in the mid-90s. The story thrives against the backdrop of the initial surge of foreign investment in India. The very first chapter of the book begins to enthrall a reader with the couple's love making scene. 

The only glitch is this: it is a married woman having a romantic adventure with her husband's boss. Cheesy as it may seem, the book sets itself apart by diving straight into the troubled waters yet without taking any sides, revealing once again the mark of a true family writer.


Extramarital affair breaks a solid marriage Shagun, the green-eyed beautiful wife of Raman, falls in love with his charismatic, handsome boss Ashok Khanna, who has never been in love before and is determined to possess the woman he now loves. It does not matter to him …

Mumbai Police Movie Review: Prithviraj breaks the typical 'hero' mold, challenges sexual stereotyping

Exploring a completely different dimension in his latest film Mumbai Police, Director Rosshan Anddrews delivers a fast-paced, thriller film after his award winning fims such as Udayananu Tharam, Notebook and others.



To flesh out the script written by Boby Sanjay, Rosshan Anddrews ropes in actors such as Prithviraj, Rahman and Jayasurya to portray three police officers: Antony Moses, Farhan and Aryan respectively.
The story begins with a phone call that Antony Moses (starring Prithviraj) makes to Farhan (starring Rahman) saying that he has solved the murder mystery of Aryan (starring Jayasurya). Just as he says this, there is an accident and Antony Moses loses his memory. From then, Farhan's attempt is to take Antony through people and places that are likely to trigger his memory so that they can solve the murder of their close friend and colleague Aryan. A series of events happen, almost hurtling us towards it.
And I am taking the liberty to hand out trophies for the following:
'M…

Top 10 Skincare tips for Summer

Come summer, and we women worry a lot about how the sun lashes out on our skin. True, skincare tips for the summer are plenty but what about the hushed secrets - yes, those tried and tested family secrets that are passed on from mother to daughters? [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]

FOLLOW MY BOARDS ON PINTEREST

Here are some that are totally easy to do. Best of all, these are effective and bring on a feel-good factor in the peak of summer.

1. Replace water with rosewater. It keeps your skin luminous and fragrant throughout the day. It's a good toner too.

2. Cleanse your skin by combining these ingredients - honey, milk, rosewater/rosepetals and turmeric. Add a dash of olive oil and yes, it feels wonderful.

3. Almond oil body baths are a must-have! You will smell delicious all day. This summer, skip all those body lotions & moisturizers! You will love the way almond oil pampers your skin all day!

4. Use a mixture of almond oil and olive oil for your fe…

Gayatri Mantra as Panchamukhi: Get it right or let it go

Most people do not understand the importance of chanting the Gayatri mantra because they are not aware of its power. It is only when I began to read Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's teachings that I learned how sacred and powerful the chanting of the Gayatri mantra is.
The Vedas represent the breath of God. The Gayatri mantra is the very basis of the Vedas. Try not to undertake chanting the Gayatri mantra as a light endeavor or as a hobby. It has to be chanted with faith, discipline and purity of mind and body. Be steady with your sadhana if you want to reap the spiritual dividend associated with the Gayatri mantra  and never once hesitate once you decide to do it.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba said that the Gayatri Mantra is referred to as Pancha Mukhi, the Goddess with five faces that represent the five pranas or life forces. Here's more on it.


Chant the Gayatri Mantra correctly: Pause Five Times Here are some important things to keep in mind while chanting the Gayatri mantra:

1. Wh…