Friday, February 09, 2007

Watching Traffic Signal.............

Watching the movie Traffic Signal by Madhur Bhandarkar last week, has my mind more lighter. In the sense that, unlike his first two editions in the Mumbai trilogy, Page 3 and Corporate, Traffic Signal does state the obvious; however, it doesn't go beyond that. In the sense that, the film doesn't go on to say something new. The life at the signals in the metros of our country is well and truly reflected in the film. In fact, my take would be that under the given circumstances, this could only be the right way to produce it on the screen. However, it still is silent on the aspect that the character of Silsila-played by Kunal Khemu-can also be exploitative, wherein he opresses those under him. Here, he is generally portrayed as a messiah or as in the end, a kind of redeemer or kind of saviour. The movie's end is also one on predictable lines-going on to "wash off his sins"!! The other critiques of the film also stand-like no proper organziation of the characters, no soul-filling music unlike his earlier films in the trilogy nor any hard-hitting statements against the system or the way of things.

Hence, this film cannot in any terms be compared with his other two ventures. Page 3 and Corporate were strong statements on the times we were living in, particularly on the cosmopolitan life we generally feel cozy about. The hollowness of the life at the Page 3 parties as well as the rush to sell off public assets for a song do not necessarily match the life led by a big group of people at the numerous signals in the metropolitan cities. However, the most remarkable thing which the director has been able to expose the hierarchy exisiting within the system. The hafta taken from the people at the signals is taken over by guys like Silsila, who in turn are led by another perosn, who essentially acts as the middleman and takes the collection to the lord above. This lord is on the other hand controlled by the hawala transactions from outside the country's borders. This whole racket or ring is a huge one, which is thereby linked through a long chain. This chain link is effectively something 'cast in stone'!!!!

Overall the movie has a typical signature by Bhandarkar; but that signature is not on the same lines like in the past. It, on the whole is more lighter and much more 'out of the emotional bracket'.

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