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Buddha In A Traffic Jam Review by Mohar Basu on The Times Of India
It is tricky to make a balanced political drama that holds a mirror at the ugly realities which plague India. Director Vivek Agnihotri smartly raises all the right questions. Finding his muse in socialist thinking, his narrative unravels the workings of the volatile Naxalite Movement which functions aggressively in the sinister underbelly of society.
Buddha In A Traffic Jam Review by Rohit Bhatnagar on Deccan Chronicle
Vivek Agnihotri brings us an untouched issue of the hidden war going on in the country — between naxals and the tribals, a race for supremacy over the other in dark areas hardly touched by civilisation. Vivek Agnihotri and Rohit Malhotra’s screenplay is the film’s strength. It pans out in ten chapters, each as taut as the other in this socio-political thriller. When the mystery unravels, you realize the system is rotten to the core.
Buddha In A Traffic Jam Review by Raja Sen on Rediff
Yet in a film this feeble, this kind of criticism feels, ironically enough, like nitpicking. I could dedicate this review to the politics of Buddha In A Traffic Jam, but that would be giving it too much credit; here there isn’t competence enough for this film to be discussed as a genuine statement of political cinema.
Buddha In A Traffic Jam Review by Jaidev Hemmady on Movietalkies
The first thing about the film that hits you is that though it deals with issues like Naxalism, socialism, capitalism and corruption, which most youngsters may not really relate to, Vivek makes it quite relevant and significant through his characters. The characters in the film are quite real and the conversations that take place between them, are quite relatable because Vivek makes his characters speak the language of the youth. Notwithstanding the liberal use of expletives, the film is quite easy to follow despite the heavy subjects it tackles. The film also strives to raise questions about the various ‘isms’ that we tend to believe are good for the nation.
Review by Manisha Lakhe on Nowrunning
It doesn’t matter. They try very hard to say it’s a marketing campaign to give tribals their rights, but you can see a mile away that the professor is a bad guy. And it doesn’t help when Mahie Gill who is supposed to be working for the tribals exposes her body for the flimsiest reason. Yes, yes, it’s the bad guy who tears her shirt off. But the whole thing is so unnecessary, you are glad when she blows herself up. Don’t ask where she gets a suicide vest from. No one in the audience seemed to care either. It’s an awful attempt to ‘save the tribals’. If they actually watched the film, they would choose to step on to land mines the naxals have laid out for them.
Review by Martin D’Souza on Glamsham
The harassment of a tribal family by the powers that be and the Naxalites highlights their no-win situation. The exploitation of their craft where they receive just Re 1 from the Rs 100 sale is something that has been happening over the ages. Same is the case with farmers. Knock off the middlemen, and the tribals will be a happy lot. But are the tribal people really our concern? These and many more questions will be left unanswered as you leave the theatre after watching this ‘mentally stimulating fare’.
Review by Kunal Guha on Mumbai Mirror
This film draws a parallel to Arunoday Singh’s career: it progressively goes south. Anupam Kher’s high voltage hamming is what acting schools warn you about. Mahie Gill completes her NGO avatar with ethnic accessories, cotton kurtas, heavy kohl and faraway glances. Pallavi Joshi, as the reluctant art curator, puffs just enough cigarettes to get by. This seems like Hate Story director Vivek Agnihotri’s last ditch effort to redeem himself. Unfortunately, it does just the opposite. The issue with this film is not that it packs in too many issues. It’s just that it has too many of its own.
Review by meeta on Wogma
Even so it is different from the norm. It has decided on making a point and does its best. It has its share of good performances. Arunoday Singh for example is brilliant and finally shows that he can act. His accent does come in the way, but it passes. Anupam Kher, Pallavi Joshi, Mahie Gill are all in good form too. They are all given their share of heavy-handed dialogue and they deliver those as they are meant to be – with reassured enthusiasm and conviction.
Review by Sarit Ray on Hindustan Times
Good cinema must be convincing. Good propaganda even more so. Buddha… doesn’t manage to be either. At one point, Pandit is delivering a speech on corruption, and how students can change it all. But how?, someone asks. His solution? “Do it by thinking it.” Pandit is Agnihotri on screen, naturally; the film is “autobiographical”. They’re both utterly self-convinced. We are not.
Review by Shubha Shetty Saha on Mid-Day India
Even though Arunoday can barely pass off as a young student in his early 20s, he is earnest and gives a decent performance. Kher yet again shows his brilliance as an actor as you want to believe him even when he is spouting the most unbelievable, silly lines in the film. Joshi reminds us of the naturally talented actress that she is, and one wishes to see more of her.