See This: Traffic

Catherine Zeta-Jones in Traffic. © Gramercy Pictures

 

 

 

Traffic started life as Traffik, a 1989 mega-mini-series following the heroin trail from Pakistan through Germany and into the UK. It was brutal, it was gruelling and it was a cracker. The decision to remake it as a leg-knotting 2hr 20 min single film, and transfer the action to Mexico and the US, delivers an extra hit, a political one. After all, the US government advocates free trade and the pursuit of happiness as unalienable principles while at the same time banning the importation and enjoyment of drugs. It’s this fault line that Traffic patrols, as it follows four interwoven stories: the drugs czar (Michael Douglas) with the addict daughter; the feds trying to bust a dealer; the wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) taking up the reins of her husband’s trafficking business; and the decent Mexican cop (Benicio Del Toro) falling foul of the drugs barons. No one comes out smelling of roses, or poppies for that matter, in a masterfully shot film that doesn’t finger-wag, preferring an it’s-all-a-mess shrug. Result: both sides of the drugs debate count director Steven Soderbergh as one of their own. Two-way Traffic, I suppose.

 

Traffic – at Amazon

 

 

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  • Traffic (2000) Crime, Drama, Thriller | 2h 27min | 5 January 2001 (USA) 7.6
    Director: Steven SoderberghWriters: Simon Moore, Stephen GaghanStars: Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, Catherine Zeta-JonesSummary: An intertwined drama about the United States' war on drugs, seen through the eyes of a once conservative judge, now newly-appointed drug czar, his heroin-addicted daughter, two DEA agents, a jailed drug kingpin's wife, and a Mexican cop who begins to question his boss's motives.

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