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HUMAN TRAFFIC

SYNOPSIS:
Amid the urban jungle of Cardiff, Wales, five late-teens introduce us to the work days that mock them as the weekend nears. Jip's (John Simm) battles a bad case of Mr Floppy and loathes the low IQ customers whom frequent his fashion outlet. His best friend Koop (Shaun Parkes), a dreadlocked DJ, likewise loathes the white rappers he sells the latest hip-hop to at his underground record store. Koop's girlfriend Nina (Nicola Reynolds) tells her sleazy McBurger's boss to shove it, as does Lulu (Lorraine Pilkington) to her moronic boyfriend. That leaves Moff (Danny Dyer), a headcase lowlife dealer making do from Mum's house despite being caught in random acts of wanking. But the weekend's all that matters, for the weekend provides all the essentials a growing body needs; pubs, clubs, drugs, booze, and sex. And they make this weekend count, as even the worst offender (Moff) will swear he's off the goods forever. Temporarily.

"If a film is to be assessed on whether it achieves its objectives - in this case to hold up a mirror to the urban youth of a Welsh city, and perhaps glimpse universal youth seeking thrills in self abusing mode - Human Traffic is peak hour on high octane fuel. On the other hand, if we use purely personal responses, Human Traffic will be some things to few people; that is, those of us considering senility will decline its invitation to dribble out of our socks, and those who consider life far too serious to be simply entertained at the movies ("social realism isn't supposed to show us having fun") will find if shallow and overstated. I believe the film has merit, although I did not find it as gripping and hilarious as thousands of British youth have. But then, I'm not a British youth. This is not meant to be condescending: for instance, I genuinely like the film's style - a style of brash and fresh filmmaking ideally suited to its theme. It's the theme I have trouble with - but that's just me. You (hi, there you cool young thing) will probably like it a lot, seeing glimpses of your recent weekend adventure right there on the screen."
Andrew L. Urban

"A box-office sensation on home turf in the UK, Human Traffic's great strength lies in its direct approach to the subject matter which is simply "let's go to a club, take lots of ecstasy, booze and pot then scramble through to next weekend and do it all over again". That's all there is, there isn't any more. The work of 26 year-old writer-director Justin Kerrigan, Human Traffic speaks so clearly to its target audience and wisely makes no moral judgements it's easy to understand why it's been such a hit with under 25's. I'll admit to being bored by most of it (I loathed club and drug culture even when I was the same age as the kids in this film) but I'll give it full marks for taking a completely selfish stance, aiming it squarely at those who can relate to the subject and saying "to hell with everyone else". All most kids care about is what's happening right now and here's a film which perfectly reflects youth hedonism as it stands today without feeling the urge to attach messages, metaphors or morals to the plotless tale. If your birth certificate reads 1970 or earlier, chances are you'll get precious little from this night out but if your idea of fun even remotely resembles what these kids do for kicks then Human Traffic is essential viewing."
Richard Kuipers

"If you think the synopsis sounds a little like there's a lot going on but not much happening here, you're pretty right. But Human Traffic is just so carefree and fun that it hardly matters. Comparisons to Go, Trainspotting, and Dazed 'n' Confused will abound, but Human Traffic dispenses with every iota of the moralising in those films. Smack out of film school at 23, first time writer/director Justin Kerrigan spent two years scripting his film, but now at 25, one wonders where it went. There's lots of dialogue, plenty of keen observation, and an authentic tell-it-like-it-is approach, yet Kerrigan slips up on his own cleverness, and forgets to go anywhere other than predictability with his pet project. We know who will get together and who won't, who will go overboard and who'll do the right thing. The only real surprise here comes in the character of Moff, who is developed as the most repugnant of the bunch - and the heaviest user – but who ends up with an attack of his conscience. Kerrigan deliberately blurs the lines of Moff's contemplation of suicide, and thus deftly avoids any sticky morality cries. In fact the entire film is about avoidance in one way or another; avoiding life, reality, unpleasantries, consequences, careers et al... But at the same time, that's just the point for these young ones. They know they are part of the human traffic on the highway of life. They just take it less seriously than others. You even admire them for their determination to enjoy their youth. It's enjoyable watching their various escapades, but no more than enjoyable, and nothing really new or dazzling happens. It's a pity the film received an (R) rating here, for it undercuts much of the audience who will enjoy it most."
Shannon J. Harvey

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 3

TRAILER

SOFCOM MOVIE TIMES

HUMAN TRAFFIC (R)
(UK)

CAST: John Simm, Lorraine Pilkington, Shaun Parkes, Danny Dyer, Nicola Reynolds, Dean Davies, Justin Kerrigan

DIRECTOR: Justin Kerrigan

SCRIPT: Justin Kerrigan

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Dave Bennett

EDITOR: Patrick Moore

MUSIC: Mathew Herbert, Rob Mellow

RUNNING TIME: 99 mins

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: REP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: January 26, 2000







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