Traffic (2011 film)


Official poster
Directed by Rajesh Pillai
Produced by Listin Stephen
Written by Bobby Sanjay
Starring Sreenivasan
Asif Ali
Kunchako Boban
Anoop Menon
Vineeth Sreenivasan
Remya Nambeesan
Narrated by Sreenivasan
Music by Mejo Joseph
Samson Kottoor
Cinematography Shyju Khalid
Edited by Mahesh Narayanan
Distributed by Magic Frames
Release dates
  • 7 January 2011 (2011-01-07)
Running time
122 minutes
Country India
Language Malayalam
Box office 5.95 crore (US$880,000)[1]

Traffic is a 2011 Malayalam language Indian thriller film written by brothers Bobby and Sanjay and directed by Rajesh Pillai. The film features an ensemble cast consisting of Sreenivasan, Rahman, Kunchako Boban, Anoop Menon, Vineeth Sreenivasan, Sandhya, Roma, Remya Nambeesan and Asif Ali.[2] The film has its narrative in a hyperlink format. The film opened on 7 January 2011, to a positive reception. It is widely regarded as one of the defining movies of the Malayalam New Wave.[3] A multi-narrative thriller that intertwines multiple stories around one particular incident, Traffic is inspired from an actual event that happened in Chennai.[4][5] Owing to its critical and commercial success, Traffic was remade into Tamil as Chennaiyil Oru Naal, in Kannada as Crazy Star and is also remade in Hindi, with the same name. This was also the last film of the veteran actor Jose Prakash.[6]


On 16 September, superstar Sidharth Shankar (Rahman) gets ready for the release of his new film. On the same day, Traffic Constable Sudevan (Sreenivasan) joins back on duty, after having been suspended from service for taking bribes. The day is special for Dr. Abel (Kunchako Boban) who is celebrating his first wedding anniversary. Raihan (Vineeth Sreenivasan), an aspiring television journalist, starts his first job with an interview with Sidharth Shankar the very same day.

On the same day, at a crowded traffic junction in Kochi, Raihan and Rajeev (Asif Ali), travelling in a bike are fatally hit by a speeding car at the signal. Raihan iss all set to interview the superstar, Siddharth Shankar. Also at the junction, in another car, is the surgeon Dr. Abel.

Raihan goes into coma and is declared brain dead although he is kept alive using ventilator. Meanwhile, Siddharth’s ailing daughter's condition becomes worse and she urgently needs a heart transplant. At first Raihan's parents do not agree to take their son off the ventilator and donate their son's heart but Rajeev and Raihan's girlfriend persuade them into it. Now that the heart is available, the problem was with transporting it from Kochi to Palakkad. No chartered flights or helicopters are available and so the heart will have to be taken by road. Someone will have to drive the 150 kilometres in under two hours during the rush traffic.

City Police Commissioner Ajmal Nazar (Anoop Menon) is asked to carry out the mission. He initially refuses considering the complexity and risk involved in the mission. But finally he heeds to the persuasion of Dr.Simon D'souza (Jose Prakash). Sudevan, being an experienced driver who has driven as an escort for ministers, volunteers to be the driver of the Jeep because he wanted to regain the name he lost due to the bribe incident. Accompanying them on this mission is Dr Abel and Rajeev.

Everything goes smoothly for sometime. But at a point the police team loses contact with the vehicle and it mysteriously disappears. All goes well and they reach the hospital in time to save the girl's life.



The film is directed by Rajesh Pillai.[7] Writers of the film Bobby and Sanjay, who scripted Ente Veedu Appoontem and Notebook explain: "The director wanted the film to be of a different mould altogether. Here every character is of equal importance as the story moves ahead. It was quite a challenging task but an enjoyable experience as well."[8] They add that the film is inspired by a true incident. A similar mission was successfully carried out by the Tamil Nadu police in a more complex Chennai city.[8] Also, in a scene, the character played by Anoop Menon talks about the incident.

Traffic is one of the first multi narratives made in this decade in Malayalam film. The film has Sreenivasan, Rahman, Kunchakko Bobban and Asif Ali as the four lead protagonists whose stories are narrated through the sequences.[9] Vineeth Sreenivasan, who recently made his debut as a writer and director with Malarvadi Arts Club, says that it was the exciting script that attracted him to the project. "It is a particularly exciting day for my character as he is all set to join a news channel but as it turns out fate had other plans in store for him," adds the actor.[8] On the theme, Rajesh says,"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."[10] The film will be the second on screen pairing of Vineeth and Sreenivasan, after their first film Makante Achan.[7] Sandhya plays Aditi, who is in love with Raihan. "Aditi is perhaps more worldly-wise than usual for someone her age. But she has her own reasons for being so", says the Malayali actor who created quite a stir with her performance in the Tamil film. This movie was said to be better than its other remakes.


Critical response

The film opened on 7 January 2011 to positive reviews. Veeyen of gave the film 3 out of 5 stars, writing, "Rajesh Pillai's Traffic is a brutally brilliant film in which he lends color to coincidence and unveils before us a cogitation on the dynamics of chance. A strikingly crafted film that is raw and genuine, it crawls right under your skin and stays there."[11] IndiaGlitz enthusiastically praised the film's "riveting plot, great performances, soulful music... and skilful direction".[12] A review at Cinefundas also praised the acting, adding that "the real hero of the film is the script".[13] called it "an overwhelming experience" and rated it as "very good."[14] The Malayalam website Movieraga called it an "excellent movie" and went on to state that the new blood of Malayalam cinema cannot be seen as second-grade any more.[15]

Traffic was screened in the Malayalam Cinema Today section at the 16th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in 2011.[16]


Soundtrack album by Mejo Joseph
Released 25 December 2010 (2010-12-25)
Recorded 2010
Genre Film soundtrack
Length 25:32
Language Malayalam
Label Satyam Audios
Producer Listin Stephen
Mejo Joseph chronology
Kanmazha Peyyum Munpe

The songs featured in the soundtrack album are composed by Mejo Joseph and Samson Kottoor, with lyrics penned by Vayalar Sarath Chandra Varma and S. Ramesan Nair.

Track listing
# Song Artist(s) Composer Lyricist
1 "Kannerinjal" Vipin Warrier, Hesham Abdul Wahab Mejo Joseph S. Ramesan Nair
2 "Pakalin" Sithara Mejo Joseph Vayalar Sarath Chandra Varma
3 "Unaroo Mizhiyazhake" Chinmayi Samson Kottoor S. Ramesan Nair
4 "Unaroo Mizhiyazhake" Samson Kottoor Samson Kottoor S. Ramesan Nair
5 "Unaroo Mizhiyazhake (Instrumental)" Kalyan Samson Kottoor S. Ramesan Nair
6 "Theme Music" Instrumental Samson Kottoor


Owing to its critical and commercial success, Traffic was remade in Tamil as Chennaiyil Oru Naal (2013). Its Hindi remake, Traffic has been released in May,2016.[17][18]


Award Category Result Recipient Ref.
Best Screenplay Won Bobby-Sanjay [19]
Best Director Won Rajesh Pillai
Best Actress in a Supporting Role Won Lena Abhilash
Best Film Won Listin Stephen [20]
Best Supporting Actress Won Lena Abhilash
Best Script Won Bobby-Sanjay [21]
Second Best Actor – Male Won Anoop Menon
Second Best Actor – Female Won Lena Abhilash
Lohithadas Award
Best Script Won Bobby-Sanjay [22]
Best Film Nominated Listin Stephen [23]
Best Director Nominated Rajesh Pillai
Best Screenplay Won Bobby-Sanjay
Best Supporting Actor Nominated Anoop Menon
Best Supporting Actress Nominated Remya Nambeesan
Best Character Actor Nominated Sreenivasan
Asiavision Movie Awards
Best Popular Movie Won Listin Stephen [24]
Second Best Actor Won Anoop Menon
Best Screenplay Won Bobby-Sanjay
Special Performance Award Won Rahman
Trendsetter Award Won Listin Stephen
Nana Film Awards
Best Film Won Listin Stephen [25]
Best Director Won Rajesh Pillai
Best Editor Won Mahesh Narayanan
Mathrubhumi Kalyan Silks Film Awards
Best Screenplay Won Bobby-Sanjay [26]
Best Path Breaking Film of the Year Nominated Listin Stephen
Surya Film Awards
Most Popular Director Nominated Rajesh Pillai
Best Editor Won Mahesh Narayanan
Kochi Times Awards
Best Script Won Bobby – Sanjay [27]
Amrita Film Awards 2012
Best Supporting Actor (Female) Won Lena Abhilash [28]
Best Script Won Bobby-Sanjay
Trendsetting Film Director Won Rajesh Pillai
Jaihind Film Awards 2012
Best Director Won Rajesh Pillai
Film Guidance Chalachitra Awards 2011
Best Supporting Actress Won Remya Nambeesan [29]
Reporter TV Film Awards 2012
Best Film Won Listin Stephen [30]
Best Director Won Rajesh Pillai
Best Script Won Bobby-Sanjay
Best Editor Won Mahesh Narayanan
Best Supporting Actress Won Lena Abhilash


  1. Manoj Nair (21 May 2011). "Malayalam movies: Non-linear narratives are making the box-office ring louder". India Times. Economic Times.
  2. Coming up: A complex Traffic – Movies
  3. Sathyendran, Nita (2013-07-03). "Shot at direction". The Hindu. Chennai, India.
  4. "Hithendran Incident".
  5. "Traffic Movie Review".
  6. "Veteran Malayalam actor Jose Prakash passes away". The Times of India. 24 March 2012.
  7. 1 2 "Vineeth and Sreenivasan in 'Traffic'". Indiaglitz. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
  8. 1 2 3 Vijay George (30 September 2010). "It happened one day...". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
  9. "'Traffic' to start this July". Indiaglitz. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  10. Vijay George (13 January 2011). "Traffic gets green signal". Chennai, India: The Hindu.
  11. "Rajesh Pillai's Traffic is a brutally brilliant film!". Nowrunning. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  12. "Traffic – This is a 'Traffic' of change". IndiaGlitz. 8 January 2011.
  13. "Traffic – Malayalam Movie Review". 7 January 2011.
  14. Movie Review:Traffic review
  15. Review: Traffic | MOVIERAGA
  16. "A slice of Kerala". The New Indian Express.
  17. "Malayalam 'Traffic' to Be Remade in Tamil?". Top 10 Cinema. 1 February 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  18. "ട്രാഫിക് ഹിന്ദിയിലും". (in Malayalam) Kerala Kaumudi. 11 April 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  19. "Kerala State Film Awards".
  20. "Filmfare Awards South 2012".
  21. "Kerala Film Critics Awards 2012". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 18 May 2012.
  22. "ലോഹിതദാസ് പുരസ്‌കാരം ബോബിക്കും സഞ്ജയിനും". Mathrubhumi.
  23. "Asianet Film Awards 2011".
  24. "Asiavision Movie Awards".
  25. "Nana Film Awards 2011".
  26. "Mathrubhumi Film Awards 2011".
  27. "Kochi Times Film Awards 2011". The Times of India.
  28. "Amrita Film Awards 2012".
  29. "Film Guidance Chalachitra Award 2011".
  30. "Reporter TV Film Awards 2012".

External links

Further reading

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