The war on drugs is always going to be a relevant issue and that’s particularly one of the messages of the movie and one of the reasons why this movie will never feel dated. It deals with a huge ongoing issue and that’s what makes Traffic so interesting but this obviously could not accomplished without the existence of the terrific European series Traffik which is their version of similar events.
There are always certain troubles that come across when you’re making a film about different stories and integrating them in one movie. Do they connect? Too many characters? Unrelated plotlines, are all the stories and characters interesting and many more but Traffic is one of the few successful films to accomplish doing the many stories and that’s due to excellent directing of Steven Soderbergh who gives distinct identities to each story that you’re able to tell the difference of both, and the director chooses not to give too much information away for each and every story so you’re involved. This is Soderbergh at his finest and I would consider this to be his masterpiece film even though there are flaws but those flaws to me are overshadowed by the pros of the film.
Here we get a beautifully crafted story about many individuals and how drugs are playing a role in their lives and the impact it has. The film refuses to resort to fantasies, unrealistic motives, the film is very realistic and the performances by each and every actor helps give the film its authenticity. Before I was critical of Soderbergh’s choice of using shaky handheld cameras but it made sense as the film going on, it had the documentary film chronicling these men and women’s lives and we are the audience witnessing what’s going on and I know Del Toro’s performance was considered a weird winner but I think he deserves it, it’s hard to shine in a movie in this and many actors might have not been able to make this character more complex and interesting than he was, and he really helps elevate his story with his performance. As does everyone else.
This is one of Douglas’ finer moments in film and Zeta Jones churnes out one of the better performances in her career and Guzman does a fantastic job of being dramatic and funny at the same time and the chemistry between Cheadle & Guzman is flawless, you care about these characters and what happens to them. You’re involved. A fine script can do that to a certain extent and performances have to take it farther which this movie does.
The fantastic thing about Traffic is that it’s fine film making, and that’s why it’s considered one of the top films made and something everybody should see. It’s a film willing to make a statement but it’s done in a way that makes you respect the art of film making. And at the end of the film, Traffic remains loyal to its audiences for sticking around and gives us this optimistic realistic beautiful ending that leaves the viewer feeling satisfied. This movie is worth of every praise it gets. 4/5
Would I Recommend this Film?
Yes definitely I would. For those average viewers who are fine watching mindless nonsense like Transformers or anything explosion related, you will hate it. For many the tedious length time might turn you off but my belief is when you put a long movie on, you made the time for it, there is no need to be rushing it. The film minimally drags, the dragful scenes were all cut to reduce the longer than 3 hours cut. But like I said I think everybody who likes movies, should witness this film. It deals with an important issue in today’s society and by the end of the movie it leaves you thinking and those 2 hours and half you spent for this will be well worth it. 4/5