Verdict: A sincere attempt on all fronts.
Traffic Ramasamy is more than just a biopic of an octogenarian who filed over 400 PILs. It is a movie of firsts. It marks the acting debut of veteran director S.A. Chandrashekhar, who has over 70 films in his kitty. It is also the maiden directorial venture of Vijay Vikram aka Vicky, who assisted Chandrasekhar for five years. The movie has Rohini and R.K. Suresh in the lead and is dotted with cameos by Khushboo, Prakash Raj, Vijay Sethupathi, Vijay Antony, Ambika, and Kasturi.
What’s Traffic Ramasamy About:
The movie traces the life of Traffic Ramasamy – social worker, public interest litigant, whistle-blower, and arbitrator. It highlights some of the cases and causes he fought for. From standing atop a building demanding that a tarmac located near a school and temple be shut down to getting a police officer suspended for misconduct, the movie brings to life some of his major cases, including the one that banned motorized fish carts. He is beaten, abused and even loses an eye, but nothing deters him in his fight for justice.
A biopic comes with the burden of being faithful to its subject and Traffic Ramasamy checks all the boxes. The movie is a progression of events as mentioned in his book, One Man Army. SAC’s portrayal of Traffic Ramasamy is honest and sincere. He shines throughout the film but the courtroom drama is a scene stealer. Rohini essays the role of his wife with grace. R.K. Suresh does a fine job of playing the goon-turned-sidekick. The incident where Traffic is tortured in custody stands out. The cameo appearances come at the right places in the plot.
What Could’ve Been Better:
The addition of ‘masala’ to make the movie appealing to a larger audience does not seem to work in a few places. The need for an item number, a judge to add comic relief, and some clumsy villains is worth debating.
Why You Should Watch:
The focus of the movie is the life of an 84-year-old social activist who dedicated himself to correcting the wrongs in society. Watch it to honor the vigor and dedication of the man.