TRAFFIC - remake of the 2011 Malayalam film of same name, is primarily a movie about a green corridor which allows a police vehicle/ambulance carrying human organs for transplant to travel at a speed of 120 kmph without any impediments. Apparently it is based on a true story which happened in Chennai a few years ago.
However, it turns out to have too many narratives within the main plot which takes the focus away from what the film tries to highlight.
There's Dev Kapoor a well-known actor who has no time for his wife and 12-year-old daughter. He is so busy that he does not even know that his daughter is suffering from a heart ailment. So much for stardom and puffed up pride!
There's a trainee television journalist who is on his way to meet Dev for his first interview. Dev's puffed up ego prompts his secretary to curtail the interview to five minutes and the venue is changed to the airport.
There is Dr Abel who is shown preparing for his wedding anniversary. On the eve of his celebration day when he has planned a surprise for his wife, he gets a surprise himself.
There's a traffic constable Godbole who takes on the onerous task of transporting the heart from Mumbai to Pune when all seniors shy away. A few months ago, he was caught taking a bribe from motorists, an act which upset his daughter. Now which traffic constable is paraded for accepting a few rupees? Poor Manoj Bajpayee, he is paraded like a criminal in one back shot.
There is also Jimmy Sheirgill as Commissioner, Traffic, who has to decide whether to allow the heart to be transported by road within a matter of hours.
All these lives come together after a bike collides with a car head-on. The one riding pillion is declared brain dead. At the same time, in Pune, Dev's daughter is fighting for her life. Within 24 hours she will have to find a heart donor if her life is to be saved. The parents of the pillion rider who is on a ventilator get a call from all and sundry. Finally, they decide to let their son go and donate his heart.
The film has its crisp moments which keep you engrossed. It also banks heavily on emotions which are handled with restraint. Overall, the film highlights how fickle life is. Prosenjit Chatterjee as superstar Dev enacts his life to the 'T' showing how shallow and hollow everything around him is. Sachin Khedekar as the grief-stricken father who has to take a decision on his brain dead son impacts with his body language. Manoj Bajpayee as Godbole gets into the skin of a havildar. A complete change from the professor he displayed in ALIGARH
As for Jimmy Sheirgill, time he gets out of the police uniform!
Overall, TRAFFIC is a feel good film although it does have the documentary feel in between.