A gripping story keeping viewers glue to their seats through for two hours, without leaving time for second thought - not a moment to worry spending money on the movie - this is what would describe the latest Malayalam flick Traffic. The movie, directed by Rajesh Pillai, was written by brothers Bobby and Sanjay. The feature film has Sreenivasan, Rahman, Kunchako Boban, Asif Ali, Anoop Menon, Vineeth Sreenivasan, Sandhya, Roma and Remya Nambeesan playing important roles. All the actors in the movie have an equally important role to play, and all of them have performed to their best.
The movie revolves around happenings on a single day - September 16. The movie has a few flashbacks to make story telling easier. This movie too revolves around the "play and replay" format, which helps viewers get a better idea of the story. Certain scenes are first shown in a particular angle, and later in different angles, which reveal more twists in the story. The movie has a lot of side tracks, which all culminate in the main story.
The movie is based on a road traffic accident, which is - perhaps - the inspiration for the name. The story begins with a commentary by actor Sreenivasan about road traffic and accidents, and then begins with a small introductions of all the actors in the movie. All roles in the movie is adequately introduced before the movie begins - because there is no time for the viewer to think about the actor's role once the movie starts rolling. The main incident - that forms the nucleus of the story - is a road accident in which Raihan (Vineeth Sreenivasan) and Rajeev (Asif Ali), traveling on a bike, are knocked down by a rashly driven car.
Raihan was on the way to interview Siddharth Sankar (Rahman), who is a movie star. Siddharth Sankar was celebrating a new movie release on the day - similarities between Siddharth and a Malayalam 'super star' stands out aloud in the movie (those who have seen the movie would recognise which actor is being referred to here). Rude and arrogant behaviour is a highlight of the character played by Rahman in this movie. Siddharth is married to Lena (sadly, she doesn't have an onscreen name), who have a daughter (played by Namitha Pramod) - who suffers from a congenital cardiac disorder.
Following the accident, Raihan slips into coma, and later dies. Raihan's heart is set to be transplanted to Siddharth's daughter, who is admitted to a hospital in a very serious condition. The heart is to be transported from Ernakulam to Palakkad by road - and the target time set is two hours. (Yes! They plan to transport the preserved heart by road in just two hours!!). Constable Sudevan (Sreenivasan), who just rejoined duty after being suspended for accepting a bribe, takes up the responsibility of driving down the vehicle carrying the heart. Sudevan is accompanied by Rajeev (Asif Ali) and Dr. Abel (Kunchakko Boban).
The story gets gripping after the vehicle starts off from Ernakulam - and covers the first quarter run without a hitch. The vehicle then goes missing - yes, missing! The wireless set in the car is disconnected, and the mobile phones of all the three in the car remains switched off. The story then takes a few side tracks to uncover the mystery of the vehicle's disappearance. (I'd rather not write about the side tracks, else you might lose the fun of the movie). But the side track revolves around Dr. Abel, who discovers that his wife has an extra-marital affair with his close friend. The vehicle later gets back to track, and makes it to Palakkad in time - how this happens is the main part of the story.
The cinematography is excellent, and ensures that every scene is gripping. However, graphics used in the movie goes beyond the limits of "reliability". One scene for example - there is a point where Dr. Abel hits his wife Shwetha (Remya Nambeesan) with his car - she rolls over the bonnet and the windshield and later flies up and falls flat on the road - all the while, there is no damage to the car! Reality is lost in some scenes, but is still packed into a very good package.
To wind it up, the movie is a 'must-watch' Despite all the 'unbelievable' facts shown, the movie is a brilliant package. The director's (Rajesh Pillai) first movie was a big-time flop, while this movie rewrites all his past, and puts him straight in the league of "sure shot" directors. This movie is explained in an unconventional way - something perhaps unseen earlier in Malayalam cinema. The movie is written by brothers Bobby and Sanjay, who had written the movies Ente Veedu Appontem and Notebook earlier. They have proved their calibre once again. Movies like these will help Malayalam cinema lose their lost pride and attract viewers once again to cinema halls.