TrafficRamasamy movie Review
Social activist Traffic Ramasamy takes on the corrupt and powerful in his quest for justice. Can he succeed to bring them down, especially when they are keen to finish him off for good? Just before the credits begin in Traffic Ramasamy, we get a disclaimer clarifying that the film is only loosely inspired from the life of the real-life social activist and not a biopic. This is a very crucial piece of information that one needs to know before watching the film because if you go in expecting anything resembling a biopic of the well-known social activist, you will be in for crushing disappointment. No, strike that. Even otherwise, the film is a huge disappointment, but we can take solace with the fact that this isn't a biopic.
The film plays out more like episodes from the life of an activist. We see him protesting to shut down a TASMAC bar that has been opened in the vicinity of a temple and a school. We see him take a guy who spits paan on the road to the court (along with a police inspector who insults him). We see him taking on the mayor over non delivery of water, which results in the death of a girl. We also get an episode where he exposes the sexual harassment by a female cop, who then takes it out on him by way of custodial torture. And we also see him fight to get the killer motorised fish carts off the roads. The film projects this last one as his biggest success and devotes almost the entire second half to it.
For a film based on a firebrand activist, Traffic Ramasamy is hardly compelling. Director Vicky tries to make this cinematic - only in the negative sense of the word; the film is hardly cinema. Even if we discount this fact - which ideally we shouldn't - and try to see it as a message movie, we end up feeling underwhelmed. The social commentary is hardly forceful, and SA Chandrasekaran's performance lacks the spark that such a character requires to make us root for him. And the treatment ruins any bit of seriousness. In the name of making it 'commercial', Vicky has turned the film into an amateurish affair. If the first half is filled with moments that could be straight out of a mega serial, the second half, especially the court scenes, are a joke. The irony of SA Chandrasekaran, who made his career out of courtroom dramas in the 1980s, starring in such a film is inescapable. If only had the director worked on his script and banked on it rather than on the half-a-dozen cameos, we would have ended up with a somewhat engaging drama.