U/A; Drama
Director: Rajesh Pillai
Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Jimmy Sheirgill, Prosenjit Chatterjee, Parambrata Chatterjee, Divya Dutta, Vishal Singh
Rating: 2.5/3

'Traffic' movie poster
'Traffic' poster. Pic/Santa Banta

‘Traffic’, based on a true story and a remake of an eponymous 2011 hit Malayalam film, deals with an interesting, offbeat yet extremely relevant subject. It showcases the emotional turmoil and adventure involved in transporting a live organ from one city to another in time to save a person’s life.

The film pans in and out of the lives of four characters: a superstar (Prosenjit Chatterjee) who’s too busy for his family of wife and daughter, a young journalist (Vishal Singh) who’s just about to get his first celeb interview, a doctor (Parambrata Chatterjee) who dotes on his wife, and a traffic cop (Manoj Bajpayee) whose reputation has been sullied due to corruption charges. Their lives get entangled when the superstar’s 13-year-old daughter is in dire need of a heart and the rest of them get involved, willingly or unwillingly, in the process of getting the organ to save her life. The heart has to be carried from Mumbai to Pune within 150 minutes, but the traffic commissioner (Jimmy Sheirgill) resists the operation as he considers it an impossible task. After much convincing, the sullied cop is given the task of carrying the heart.

Given the topic (story by Bobby and Sanjay) in hand, this film could have been a fast-paced edge-of-the-seat thriller. But unfortunately and surprisingly for most parts, it moves at a meandering pace.

The constant reminder of time with timeline put up gets the audience gauge the emergency of the situation more accurately than the characters in the film. The execution in most parts is pretty amateurish.

Among the cast, Bajpayee seems limited by the lack of depth in his character and all we see him is sporting two expressions: frowning and, well, frowning. Chatterjee seems uncomfortable in a strangely etched out role and a stranger looking wig.

Other members of the cast - Divya Dutta as the traumatised mother, Kitu Gidwani and Sachin Khedekar as the journalist’s parents, Divya Unny as the traffic cop’s wife, Parambrata as a man going through an emotional crisis and Amol Parashar as the journalist’s friend - do a decent job.

This could have been a far better film, with better sense of emergency and tighter editing.