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'Traffic has been a great success from day one'

Last updated on: January 12, 2011 10:02 IST

'Traffic has been a great success from day one'

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Meghna George in Kochi

With an unconventional story and narrative style, director Rajesh Pillai's Traffic has turned out to be one of finest movies in Malayalam in recent times.

The film talks about how an accident at a traffic junction affects the lives of a few persons.

Based on a fine script by Bobby and Sanjay, Traffic stars Sreenivasan, Rahman, Vineeth Sreenivasan, Kunchacko Boban, Anoop Menon, Asif Ali, Roma, Sandhya and Ramya Nambeeshan in important roles.

In this interview, Rajesh Pillai talks about the making of Traffic. Excerpts:

Did you expect such an overwhelming reaction for Traffic?

We were confident about the film, but it has been a great success from day one. The reactions have simply exceeded even our own expectations. The theatres in all the major centres are houseful even on weekdays and that is amazing. My phone has not stopped ringing since the first day. It was indeed heartening the way the industry accepted the film.

I was absolutely thrilled to hear directors like Siby Malayil saying "rarest movie and the strongest script". Director Jayaraj rang me up to say that he was inspired to go ahead with more experiments after seeing the film. It is a great feeling to see the filmmakers from the industry coming together to support another director's work. We have been receiving calls from Tamil, Telugu and Kannada for the film's remake rights.


Image: A scene from Traffic
Photographs: Rajesh R Pillai (centre) directs Sandhya and Vineeth Sreenivasan
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'We could have approached any star as we had a good script'

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Considering the current atmosphere in Malayalam, were you apprehensive about making a film with not many saleable stars in the cast?

Never. We were really sure about the script and decided to go ahead with the project with complete honesty. We could have approached any star as we had a good script, but we were particular to stick to those faces that suited the characters. We haven't treated this as a "star-film".

Also, it is a fact that the audience here is bored by the usual masala ingredients and they were looking for a change.

What attracted you to the script?

It is a really touching theme told in a modern style. The script was a challenging one and it has been quite strenuous shooting the sequences, but then that is what any director would like to do. We were never in a hurry and have taken our own time to develop the script.


Image: A scene from Traffic

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'It is indeed great when the viewers applause the interval and the climax scenes'

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As per your own assessment, what are aspects that connect the viewers to the story?

I think the film has been accepted in its totality. It is indeed great when the viewers applause the interval and the climax scenes. To quote more examples of the hugely popular scenes, there is this dialogue when one of the characters says that the roads here are not like the ones in Chennai. Everyone applauded upon hearing it. Also the scene where the superstar gives an interview to a TV channel has been accepted very well. These are just two instances which were really special in the film.

As there were quite a few characters whose lives were discussed, how did you decide on each actor's screen space?

I have not done anything purposefully or considered such aspects in mind while making it. We have given importance to the story alone and that has worked very well. Though at the risk of sounding cliched, let me tell you that it was the story that took us ahead; we were just following the journey.


Image: A scene from Traffic

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'People of all ages can relate to Traffic'

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How did the actors react when you approached them with the script initially?

Everyone liked the script, the concept was exciting for all. The actors were just ready to be part of the film, thanks to their belief in the script.

Why should one watch Traffic?

It is a genuine film with a message. People of all ages can relate to it. I will say we have put our heart and soul into its making.


Image: A scene from Traffic

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