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Traffic December 19, 2006

Posted by Shujath in English, Movies, Reviews.
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Traffic reminds you a lot about Stephen Gaghan’s latest Syriana. He is credited with the writing while Steven Soderbergh goes behind the camera. Like Syriana was about the intricacies of global oil politics and its effects, Traffic deals with the issue of drugs…more specifically on the drug trafficking between Mexico and the US. The intertwined stories of various people surrounding this murky world forms the plot.

Unlike episodic films this is a thriller where the action going on in each of the stories has a parallel effect on another one. The kind of narrative is the same which Gaghan used for Syriana though in terms of the plot Traffic is much less taxing on the brain than the latter. A distinctive technique used for filming is the use of different hues and camera movements for each thread….a technique also adopted in Mani Ratnam’s Yuva.

There is a huge cast including the likes of Michael Douglas, Don Cheadle, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace, Erika Christensen and a lot more but the one who stands out is Benicio Del Toro as the Mexican cop. All the threads are equally interesting and thrilling. I was expecting a gloomy end given the proceedings but it concludes on a somewhat positive note.

Soderbergh deserves credit for coming up with an almost mockumentary which is better than any commercial thriller. He won the Best Director Oscar for this one. This is a great example of a movie which deals with a serious issue but never bores you at any point of time. Though it might not appeal to all audiences it is still a great watch even for an average viewer looking for a good thriller.

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