Every Saturday night, a friend of mine rents movies to watch (we never take him anywhere). When I am not going out, I watch them with him and a group of friends. Unfortunately, he is getting this reputation for getting bizarre videos from the UK. In fact, along with this movie, we saw three other movies, and only one was from the US. Soon they’ll be calling him “Crazy British Video Guy” and asking him what “wanker” means. (No we won’t really, but it sounds funny.) However, I digress. Anyway, fortunately for me, the movie Human Traffic was one of the “crazy English movies” he picked up. (Although, the characters are Welsh and I would just like to say that there’s a difference. Well, only if you care I guess.)
This movie follows five friends in the club scene in Cardiff, Wales. All five have their associated problems: Jip calls himself a sexual paranoid, and is afraid he might be impotent. Lulu doesn’t find much that’s redeemable in men. Nina hates her job at a fast food joint, and her boyfriend Koop, who dreams of being a great hip-hop d.j. (although he can’t scratch), is prone to fits of unprovoked jealousy. Moff is the son of a policeman and does a ton of drugs as an open rebellion against that. The movie itself watches them as they prepare to go out on a wild weekend and follows through all the way to the end as they recover from their drug-induced states. We also get inside their heads to see what they are thinking and feeling most of the time in a sort of satirical dream sequence. By the end of the movie we see their personalities inside and out.
I think this is a movie that you will either love or hate. If you hate the kind of movies that are “day in a life of” like Groove, or with weird elements like Go, you will hate this movie. While it did not have the perception changes that the two former movies did, it was full of fantasy elements that at first seem like reality, but really are not. In addition, if you tend to compare movies with other movies, then you will have a horrible time.
But this review isn’t what I think you might think. Or what I think you might not think. In fact, I’m not supposed to care what anyone thinks and just go at it on my own. I, for one, loved it. The characters had depth to them (you get an intimate knowledge of everything that goes on in Jip’s head when he feels he can’t have sex) and the music just kicked me all around in a happy frenzy. (Well, maybe not literally┘ but it was really good music.) It was slow in a couple of parts, but overall it was nicely paced and very imaginative. I really liked the slices of perspective and the realistic portrayal of 20 somethings in the club scene.
It was also a happy film. It didn’t show the horrible long lasting effects of drugs or teach us that something is wrong in the way that is reminiscent of an afternoon special. In fact, the characters took drugs, had a good time and nothing horrible happened. However, it wasn’t unrealistic on the other end either. It really satirizes the come down after a high along with what happens to the characters later in the weekend after the party is over.
Overall, it was funny and engaging. If you like party movies along with good music, then this should be the next one on your list.