Saturday, May 07, 2016

Review: Traffic


1 star

Mini Review:

No mistake. There is only one star in this movie and that's Manoj Bajpayee. Everyone else is either weeping, being stern or yelling. And the heart that needs to be transported from Mumbai to Pune takes too damned long to get there. Tiring journey this!

Main Review:

How many people can you get into a movie who weep?

Parents of the boy who is about to die, the best friend, the girlfriend, two other friends.
Parents of the girl who can be saved. Correction. The mom cries enough for both of them. The father - supposedly a movie superstar - cannot dig out a single real expression let alone tears.
Wife of a doctor when she's in a hospital

How many stern? Doctors in both hospitals.

How many yelling? One. The Joint Commissioner Of Police (Traffic). He yells enough for the entire police force. Maybe 'yell' is a strong word. But that's what he sounds like. 'This cannot be done!', 'That will cause chaos!', 'This mission is just not possible!'

Only Manoj Bajpayee, the quiet cop raises his hand and does his job. In his car that is carrying a heart for the the little girl are the donor's best friend, a doctor, and us. This overburdened SUV lumbers from one needless situation to another. 'Areas of communal tension' they say, but it's just Muslim people partying, going about their daily chores who bolt out of the way when the SUV goes past their area. Even the Hindu pilgrims on the way to Pandharpur are not stupid enough to stop the emergency vehicle. 

The most irritating part of the movie is the style. They borrow heavily from the TV show 24 where Kiefer Sutherland is Jack Bauer and every episode has one hour's action. The special effects break the screen into three pictures and have the digital clock showing us how important the hour is. In the movie they flash the time so many times, you want to scream, 'The time in Mumbai is the same as in Pune! Stop showing us the clock. The special effects stretch the time and make the journey unbearable.

Yes, it is based on a true story. Yes, the Police Constable drove through Chennai rush hour traffic and saved a young girl's life. Yes, the movie has been made in 2011 in Malayalam. And we appreciate bravehearts. But that is no reason to make a film so tedious you want Manoj Bajpayee to say something like, 'We have reached, re baba!' The star this film earns is for his calm in the storm raging around him, and his ability to charm people's socks off when he says, 'Re Baba!'



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