Traffic is a 2011 Malayalam language Indian thriller film written by brothers Bobby and Sanjay and directed by Rajesh Pillai. The film features an ensemble cast consisting of Sreenivasan, Rahman, Kunchako Boban, Anoop Menon, Vineeth Sreenivasan, Sandhya, Roma, Remya Nambeesan and Asif Ali. The film has its narrative in a hyperlink format. The film opened on 7 January 2011, to a positive reception. It is widely regarded as one of the defining movies of the Malayalam New Wave. A multi-narrative thriller that intertwines multiple stories around one particular incident, Traffic is inspired from an actual event that happened in Chennai. Owing to its critical and commercial success, Traffic was remade into Tamil as Chennaiyil Oru Naal, in Kannada as Crazy Star and is also remade in Hindi, with the same name. This was also the last film of the veteran actor Jose Prakash.
On 16 September, superstar Sidharth Shankar (Rahman) gets ready for the release of his new film. On the same day, Traffic Constable Sudevan (Sreenivasan) joins back on duty, after having been suspended from service for taking bribes. The day is special for Dr. Abel (Kunchako Boban) who is celebrating his first wedding anniversary. Raihan (Vineeth Sreenivasan), an aspiring television journalist, starts his first job with an interview with Sidharth Shankar the very same day.
On the same day, at a crowded traffic junction in Kochi, Raihan and Rajeev (Asif Ali), travelling in a bike are fatally hit by a speeding car at the signal. Raihan iss all set to interview the superstar, Siddharth Shankar. Also at the junction, in another car, is the surgeon Dr. Abel.
Raihan goes into coma and is declared brain dead although he is kept alive using ventilator. Meanwhile, Siddharth’s ailing daughter’s condition becomes worse and she urgently needs a heart transplant. At first Raihan’s parents do not agree to take their son off the ventilator and donate their son’s heart but Rajeev and Raihan’s girlfriend persuade them into it. Now that the heart is available, the problem was with transporting it from Kochi to Palakkad. No chartered flights or helicopters are available and so the heart will have to be taken by road. Someone will have to drive the 150 kilometres in under two hours during the rush traffic.
City Police Commissioner Ajmal Nazar (Anoop Menon) is asked to carry out the mission. He initially refuses considering the complexity and risk involved in the mission. But finally he heeds to the persuasion of Dr.Simon D’souza (Jose Prakash). Sudevan, being an experienced driver who has driven as an escort for ministers, volunteers to be the driver of the Jeep because he wanted to regain the name he lost due to the bribe incident. Accompanying them on this mission is Dr Abel and Rajeev.
Everything goes smoothly for sometime. But at a point the police team loses contact with the vehicle and it mysteriously disappears. All goes well and they reach the hospital in time to save the girl’s life.