Manoj – From Bhiku Mhatre, To A Prince And Now A Traffic Constable
If there is one actor who has revelled in playing a wide variety of roles, it is the ever so talented Manoj Bajpayee. I remember the time when he used to hang around the offices of Mahesh Bhatt and Mukesh Bhatt to find roles in the films they kept making or at least in the serials their company made.
His talent made them take him seriously and he found some meaningful roles to play first in some of the sensible serials the Bhatts made and then gradually came to films where he made the biggest splash when he played Bhiku Mhatre, the right hand man of the “Bhai” in “Satya”, a role which threw open new doors of opportunities for the actor waiting to find a way to give vent to his talent.
Among some of the films in which he excelled in different roles and showed how versatile he was were “Pinjar”, “Jail”, “Raajneeti”, “Special 26”, “Tevar” and “Aligarh”, besides the countless other films an actor like him had to do for what some of them called the “Paapi pet ka sawaal”…
His quest for excellence continues and he is now waiting to see the reaction of the audience and the industry to his performance as a traffic constable in “Traffic”. The trailer of the film is out and gives a very compelling insight into the film and especially the character of the “traffic hawaldaar” in the film and one of the celebrities who has been going out of his way to sing the praises of Manoj is Salman Khan who is now said to be waiting to make time to see the complete film.
Endemol India that has produced several local television shows ventured into feature films, after they acquired the remake rights for the Malayalam film “Traffic”. Rajesh Pillai who directed the film in Malayalam was retained as director too. Suresh Nair did the Hindi adaptation of the script of “Traffic”, stating “slight enhancements have been made in the feel and action content, to ensure commercial viability. But the script still remains the brilliant script that the original is.”
Manoj Bajpayee was the first choice to play the role of a traffic constable in the film. Two Bengali actors, Parambrata Chatterjee and Prosenjit Chatterjee (big stars of Bengali cinema) were also signed in. The director (who died young soon after completing the film) confirmed that Manoj Bajpayee would play the role of a constable, Parambrata Chatterjee would play a doctor and Prosenjit Chatterjee would play a superstar.
Divya Dutta plays the part as it was in the original. Amol Parashar, a popular face in ad films, plays Asif Ali’s character and Malayalam actor, Jishnu is playing the role played by Krishna, he played in the original version.
Vishal Singh and Kitu Gidwani are playing the roles of Vishal Singh’s mother. Rajesh Pillai, the director had confirmed Nikita Thukral for a role played by Sandhya in Malayalam and which was offered to Vishakha first. Richa Panai is paired with Parambrata. Malayalam actress Kaveri reprises the role portrayed by Roma Asrani but will portray a mature and introvert personality as opposed to a bubbly Miriam from the original.
Mithoon is the music composer and Mejo Joseph who composed the music for the original film in Malayalam, composed the background score for the Hindi version.
The film is entirely shot on the Mumbai Pune Expressway and Hyderabad. The film is now ready for release and Manoj, the actor who has succeeded in giving life to the most lifeless characters is eagerly looking forward to the release of the film which even after so many years of experience he expects his role as the traffic constable to give him the green light to a better future which could start with “Traffic”.