Director Rajesh Pillai's ‘Traffic’ cruises ahead without any roadblocks

Director Rajesh Pillai is back with a bang. His second directorial venture, ‘Traffic,' has been garnering appreciation from all quarters since it was released last week. His maiden venture, ‘Hridayathil Sookshikkan’, which was released five years ago, was largely forgettable.

“Frankly, the failure of my maiden venture prompted me to work extra hard for this film. After its failure I did a bit of introspection and analysed what had gone wrong with the film. I was waiting for the right script to make a comeback,” says the director.

‘Traffic’ is about an accident that occurs at a crowded traffic junction, and how it intertwines the lives of a number of people. “I felt it was a theme that could connect with viewers regardless of their age. It's a contemporary theme that reassures us that if we approach something with honesty, even nature will come to our support,” says Rajesh.

Strangers to the rescue

In the film, a group of people come together to achieve a near impossible task and it is the strength of their convictions that finally makes it happen. The story reminds us how even a casual, seemingly harmless incident, can quickly get out of hand.

“Interconnecting stories has become a popular pattern in modern cinema. In the film, we have narrated a fictionalised account of a true incident that happened in Chennai. Several people, who were complete strangers until that day, come together to save a life in this story,” says Rajesh.

‘Traffic' has been produced under the banner of Magic Frames by Listin Stephen and scripted by Bobby and Sanjay. The scenarist duo wrote the scripts of films like ‘Ente Veedu Appoontem' and ‘Note Book.'

“This script is a rather different experiment. Industry insiders claim that the audience will respond only in a particular way and we have to mould our films according to those patterns. The appreciation that has been pouring in for ‘Traffic' has proved it all wrong.

“The script was a rather complex one, rather like a house of cards – one wrong segment and it could have brought the whole thing tumbling down. It is absolutely a Rajesh Pillai film in every sense,” add the duo.

Twists and turns

Sreenivasan plays a police constable named Sudevan, who has been suspended from service for accepting a bribe. Vineeth Sreenivasan is a television journalist called Raihaan who is all excited about his first-ever interview and that too with superstar Siddharth Shankar, played by Rahman. Kunchacko Boban is Dr. Abel, a surgeon who is all set to surprise his wife with a brand new car on their wedding anniversary.

On that fateful day, a September 16, Raihaan and his friend Rajeev (Asif Ali) are rushing to the studio for the interview with Siddharth, when a speeding car hits their bike. Raihaan is gravely injured in the accident. The story takes some thrilling twists and turns from then on.

After a long interval, veteran actor Jose Prakash makes a brief appearance in the film. Anoop Menon, Prem Prakash, Sandhya, Roma, Ramya Nambeesan and Lena don important roles in the film. Shyju Khaled wields the camera, while Mejo Joseph and Samson Kottoor have composed the music.

“‘Traffic' is a commercial film, but without the popular ‘five-fights-two-dance formula.' Yet, the response has been phenomenal. I was overwhelmed when director Sathyan Anthikkad called me to congratulate me,” says Rajesh.

“I did not have many expectations to live up to while making ‘Traffic,' but I am aware that from now on, things could be a bit different. I will keep that in mind while thinking about my next film,” says the director, as his phone keeps ringing incessantly, with positive feedback flowing in from several centres in Kerala.