Have you ever been witness to the day to day activities that happen at a traffic signal and how lives of people around it are affected? You would have caught a glimpse of it while stopping your vehicle at a traffic signal or walking past it on the pavements/footpaths but the reality is only for those who live their life at these signals. Those innumerous vendors, beggars, eunuchs, lepers, street kids, drug addicts, prostitutes, vendors etc. for whom an entire world is restricted to these signals.
'Traffic Signal' tells that tale of about 60 odd characters who have their world centered on this place. Each of them have their own life and how they make it happen on the road is what the film is all about.
Silsila [Kunal Khemu], one of these 60 characters is a Manager by profession. Well almost! As a 'hafta' collector who is called a Manager and has been assigned the responsibility of collecting money from all those who conducted their 'business' at the signal, he was a young guy with a heart of gold who cared for all those who were a part of his 'signal' family! He too was loved by all and was protected by his mentor Jaffar, who was also the collector of his region.
Together, Silsila and Jaffar were a part of the bigger nexus as they worked for Haji, a mafia don who had his own reporting line to the politicians. An entire process of money movement came into picture as it moved from one channel to second, from second to third, from third to fourth and so on. In the end, there were people even at the top who got their share of moolah collected from the all those who made their livelihood on the traffic signal.
At this signal arrives Rani [Neetu Chandra], a girl of Gujarati origin, who sells embroidery stuff on the pavements. Coming all the way to Mumbai to make good money and return back to her native place, she gets into a little tussle with Silsila as he makes her aware about the bare necessity of sharing her profits as a part of the 'hafta'. Rani is quite naturally upset but as days pass by, she understands the reasons behind these demands and eventually also falls in love with Silsila.
Other important characters in the film are Upendra Limaye [who played the main villain named 'Bapu' in 'Shiva'], a man who does 'rangoli' on the road where people are expected to put in money. Konkana Sen is a night walker who is always surrounded by 2-3 men when she is on her job, whereas there is also a gay character who sells himself on the streets and hence turns out to be Konkana's competitor. In addition, there are characters like Ranvir Shourey who plays a drug addict, 'Paaya', the beggar boy, 'Dambar', the newspaper boy, and ' Tsunami', the jet black beggar boy from Andhra!
Twist in the tale comes when talks begin about a flyover construction in the area. Given the assignment of killing an honest engineer who wanted to prevent the building of this flyover, Silsila executes it as required, only to realize later that unknowingly he had become a part of a bigger scheme of things. He realised that doing so jeopardized the lives of hundreds who lived on the streets and he was the one who was ultimately responsible for their condition.
And now his only purpose in life was to challenge the nexus. The one who supported him in his endeavor? Rani! And his entire 'signal' family!
Third in the trilogy of his Mumbai centric movies after 'Chandni Bar' and 'Corporate' comes 'Traffic Signal', which as per director Bhandarkar is a slice of life film with a lot of realism attached to it.
Coming under the banner of Percept Picture Company and Bhandarkar Entertainment, 'Traffic Signal' has music by Shamir Tandon and is slated for a February release.