Friday, 22 June 2018

Traffic Ramasamy: Red Signal

Filming the biopic of an activist-for-life like Traffic Ramasamy should demand a lot of guts and an intense research on the society and politics. While, SA Chandarshekar starrer Traffic Ramasamy by debutante filmmaker Vicky has tried to go the other way showing the unknown story of Ramasamy's personal life struggles and sorrows.

Vicky who reads through the book 'One Man Army' that detailed a portion of Ramasamy's life, has pulled out one card from the deck and has made this film with one important case of his lifetime. However, we feel that the movie could have touched more details and more cases that were lodged by a man for whom filing Public Interest Litigation at courts is a habit. After reading this, when you just turn the pages of newspapers this week, bet me if you really can't spot at least a column carrying a news item regarding Traffic Ramasamy. But, why the writer has made this so blunt as if this was the only case. I should say, Vicky promised us for Traffic Ramasamy and gave us Vadakupatti Ramasamy. Oooohhh ooohh.

When it comes to emotions, Vicky has tried to capture the family drama that happened after every assault or attack made at Ramasamy. There is also a dialogue for a family member who says 'Avaru kooda nikkalanaalum kurukka nikkakoodathu nu paakuren,' which explains it well. But, what fails is that the drama is too dramatic, like what we see on prime time mega-serials. Especially the song at Ramasamy's 75th birth anniversary.

Chandrashekar as Traffic Ramasamy is a boon to the script - at least he tries to be one. He made me feel like why does he get beaten or slapped often. Later I was pushed to the point of realisation that he is in the role of Traffic Ramasamy, who in real life undergoes such hardships, the latest addition to which is watching this movie, that supposed to be his biopic.

While other actors have less space to act as most part of their screentime is spent on looking at the camera. Apart from that, the movie has a lot of cameos including Vijay Sethupathi, Seeman, Vijay Antony, Prakash Raj and SA Chandrashekar. Oops, typo. A special mention to SVe Shekar's cameo who has very meaningful dialogues like 'Contempt of court' and 'A criminal has to be produced before the court within 24 hours'. The director's humour quotient finally itched the funny bone right here - in the middle of this irony. Still, my subconscious mind asked me, so what? "Dei, we got used to that already, when a superstar opposed protests outside, but triggered the same on screen, just a couple of weeks back."

On a serious plot like Traffic Ramasamy's life, adding humour elements and commercial elements could have been a selling point for the movie. But, too much of commercialism like a clownish dancing judge or an AK47 shootout in a courtroom makes Traffic Ramasamy amateur. If you ask me was that the only flaw you found out in the whole movie? Absolutely no. These were the only shortcomings I could spot when I was awake during the runtime.

- Santhosh Mathevan,
Chennai, June 22, 2018.

This viewer's note is completely based on the perceptions of Santhosh Mathevan alone. This does not reflect the views of two or more people or a community. Queries and criticism shall be addressed to the writer only.