Soon after completing his first feature film 'Traffic', director Rajesh Pillai passed away at age 41 and the star cast of the movie still cannot believe that he is not with them.
The story of 'Traffic' centres on transportation of a harvested heart for a heart transplant case, chasing a strict deadline.
During the mission, the characters face numerous difficulties and obstacles, traffic being one of them. The movie is remake of a Malayalam film of the same name.
In the film, Manoj Bajpayee plays a traffic constable who decides to spearhead a situation amidst the heavy traffic in Mumbai.
And the actor still can’t believe Pillai was gone so soon.
"I am still in shock and disbelief. I just can’t come to terms with the fact that he is gone so suddenly," Bajpayee said.
"Rajesh (Pillai) was such a passionate filmmaker. He gave priority to his cinema over everything else, including his health. Now that we are looking at the release of the film, I miss him more than ever. God bless his soul," he said.
The film, also starring Jimmy Sheirgill, Sachin Khedekar, Prosenjit Chatterjee and Parambrata Chatterjee among others, hits theatres on May 6.
And Prosenjit, who returns to Hindi films after his much applauded role in Dibakar Bannerjee’s "Shanghai", says that it is really sad to see Rajesh Pillai leave us so suddenly.
"I spoke to him a few month back at the Kerala Film Festival. I accepted the role in 'Traffic' because I really liked the subject."
"Rajesh Pillai directed the Malayalam original and then chose to direct the Hindi version although he was not Hindi-speaking. But he was passionate about the subject and fiercely focused on getting the same tension and emotions from the original Malyalam into Hindi. And such a wonderful human being...He was really sweet to all us actors. We all miss him," Prosenjit said.
Divya Dutta, who plays the mother of the girl who needs the heart transplant, lost both the director and her mother around the same time.
Divya said: "Rajesh (Pillai) was such a lovely man. He possessed a rare childlike innocence. And he was so engrossed in the making of the film. Wish he was here to see its release."