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TrafficSurprisingly malayalam directors are now obsessed with short english names for the films and last year there was a deluge of movies like Thriller, Cocktail, Traffic, Anwar, Pranchiyettan and Saint, Living together etc. Also the malayalam movies witnessed a change in the patterns of malayalam movies made - urban, slick with stylish hollywood style visuals and of shorter duration which had found the groove with the new generation malayalam audiences. The success of 'Cocktail' and 'Traffic' testifies the same. When I read about good reviews of 'Cocktail' first followed by 'Traffic' at a later time, I unitentionally mixed up with the names. So I initiated the download of 'Traffic' thinking that it was 'Cocktail'. But I am not complaining because 'Traffic' was superior than any of the recent malayalam releases.

{tab=Traffic (2010)}


The first and foremost reason why I loved 'Traffic' was its episodic format of story telling. I always find intresting seeing a same incident in various perspectives and the emotions attached with the subjects who see it from their point of view. That's the reason I like 'Vantage Point', 'Rashomon', 'Vedam (Telugu)'. 'Traffic', even though follows the same narrative structure, is original and not inspired by any Hollywood movies. What works in the favour of 'Traffic' is the high emotional current that flows throughout the movie.

The story, which was inspired by a real Chennai accident', takes place on a fateful Sep 16th, where the lives of Rehan (an aspiring journalist), Siddharth (the biggest star of malayalam cinema), Sudevan (a constable who rejoins duty after a suspension for taking bribe) and Dr. Abel (whose wedding anniversary is on that date) and how life takes a different route for everybody connected. All the protagonists have their friends and relatives on whom they make a difference to. An young lady drives fast to dodge the hooligans hit Rehan in an accident and in the same traffic signal Abel finds his wife cheating on him. Siddharth's big budget movie 'Ishwar' is released that day and Sudevan resumes his duty. The accident turns the life upside for everybody.

I don't want to give away the story because I would recommend you to watch this movie. One of the near loophole proof script which Indian cinema had recently witnessed can easily be this 'Traffic' scripted by Bobby - Sanjay. There is no hero / lead in this story. Everybody takes the lead the moments they appear on the screen, even if they do for a moment. Example - Sudevan's wife & daughter who have a screem time of a couple of minutes. Considering the mammoth starcast of recent times, every character gets a screetime as the role requires.

Traffic Poster

1. Vineeth Srinivasan, as Rehan - refreshing to watch him onscreen
2. Sandhya, as Adithi, Rehan's divorcee girl friend - emotions/ drama is her forte
3. Asif Ali (Harish - An actor to watch for)
4. Saikumar (Rehan's dad - his eyes overshadows the words)
5. Fatima Babu (good grief onscreen)
6. Kunchacko Boban as Dr. Abel - got his act right after a decade
7. Ramya Nambeeshan, as Abel's wife, who is at her glamorous best
8. Srinivasan, as contable Sudevan, is superb as usual
9. Rahman, as Superstar Siddharth, who intially throws weight and later squirms as a helpless father
10. Lena as Siddharth's wife gets the meatiest lines of the female casting.
11. Anoop Menon, as the Police Commissioner is a revelation with an amazing & string screen presence.

The cinematography by Shyju Khalid and background score by Mejo gives the movie an international sheen within the budget constraints of malayalam cinema. With a running time of 115 minutes, no unnecessary song / comedy routines, 'Traffic' will definitely satisfy the apetite of a discerning movie viewer. Go for it!!!!

{tab=Cocktail (2010)}


I was able to catch up this movie the very next day I saw 'Traffic'. 'Cocktail' falls more into the category of a thriller rather than depending on emotional quotient, the way malayalam movies worked in the past. From the internet sources I learnt that it was a direct lift from Pierce Brosnan starrer 'Butterfly on a wheel (2007)', a Canadian movie. But I would say that it was successfully adapted to the Kerala mileu.

'Cocktail' also takes place in a day, so it required a tight script. Ravi Abraham and Parvati are blessed with a daughter, a posh life and a successful career. On the way to a friend's party, Ravi gives lift to a stranger, who takes control of the Ravi's life within minutes. Life was never the same when Ravi realises that his daughter is under the hostage of the stranger who later reveals his name as Venkatesh. Ravi was made to do things that puts his bank balance, career and integrity at stake. Why Venkatesh makes Ravi undergo all the humiliations jeopardising his career, money forms a powerful climax.

This is not a movie with a slew of characters instead focuses on the conflict between the three main leads - Ravi, Parvathi and Venkatesh. Till the last minute, when the suspense are opened up, the movie keeps you engrossed. Jayasurya, as the kidnapper Venkatesh, gets the plum role while Anoop Menon as Ravi Abraham matches the histrionics with a suitable screen presence. Samvrutha Sunil as Parvathy delivers the best within the parameters she was allowed to.

After the movie, I initiated the download of 'Butterfly on a wheel' for two reasons - I wanted to see the original & the next reason being that I am a huge fan of Pierce Brosnan.


I already had watched Anoop Menon in Ranjit's "Thirakkadha" and had a good opinion about his acting skills. But after I watched two of his movies - Traffic & Cocktail, back to back, I am impressed by his screen presence.

Also Anoop reminds me somebody whom I liked a lot back in Abu Dhabi, with whom I am not in touch with. Today I called my ex-colleague to enquire about that person and felt very happy that he got married again few months back. All the best CM!

{oshits} readers for this movie review post!!!