Movies Traffic (2000, Michael Douglas, Benicio del Toro) Published 7 months ago on November 7, 2018 Based on Channel 4’s BAFTA, Emmy and RTS award winning drama Traffik , Soderbergh’s film was similarly lauded, winning four Oscars, two BAFTAs and two Golden Globe awards. Like the original series, the plot contains three distinct strands which only briefly meet, but all are inter-connected by one theme – the proliferation of drugs trafficking (specifically cocaine) from Mexico to America. Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA winning Benicio Del Toro plays Javier Rodriguez, a Mexican cop who likes the quiet life (and the odd small bribe) but finds himself caught up in the intrigues of army General Salazar (Tomas Milian). In America, FBI agents are keeping watch on Carlos Ayala (Steve Bauer), a respectable millionaire and his wife Helena (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who has no idea how her husband makes his money – until he’s busted. Finally, Michael Douglas plays Robert Wakefield, appointed by the President as the ‘Drugs Czar’ to tackle the growing problem, a problem exemplified by his daughter Caroline (Erika Christensen), once a straight-A student, now a crack-cocaine addict who’s turned to prostitution to feed her habit. The individual plots are all self-contained but each complements the other as Soderbergh shows both the passage of drugs from Mexico into the States and the effects of the trade from the lowest to the mightiest as well as asking whether some form of legalisation might not be more effective than ineffective and expensive law enforcement. To differentiate the three stories, he effectively use different film stock, colours and tones – Carlos and Helena’s life is shown in ‘normal colours’ while Rodriguez’s story is a desaturated yellow and Wakefield’s an almost eerie blue, enabling the audience to quickly identify the switching storylines. But such is Soderbergh’s mastery that the audience are never confused while the cast are outstanding, with special credit going to Christensen as a girl trapped in a hideous life not necessarily of her own making and Del Toro as the cop caught between a rock and a hard place. production details USA – Germany | 147 minutes | 2000 Director: Steven Soderbergh Script: Simon Moore, Stephen Gaghan, cast Michael Douglas as Robert Wakefield Benicio del Toro as Javier Rodriguez Jacob Vargas as Manolo Sanchez Tomás Milián as General Arturo Salazar Russell G. Jones as Mark Amy Irving as Barbara Wakefield Michael O’Neill as Lawyer Rodman Catherine Zeta-Jones as Helena Ayala Dennis Quaid as Arnie Metzger Erika Christensen as Caroline Wakefield Don Cheadle as Montel Gordon Stacey Travis as Helena’s Friend Benjamin Bratt as Juan Obregón Miguel Ferrer as Eduardo Ruiz Joel Torres as Porfilio Madrigal Beau Holden as DEA Agent – CalTrans Jeremy Fitzgerald as DEA Agent – CalTrans Mary Pat Gleason as Witness #2 Michael Saucedo as Desert Truck Driver Jose Yenque as Salazar Soldier / The Torturer Emilio Rivera as Salazar Soldier #2 Jessica Yoshimura as Neighbor (uncredited) Salma Hayek as Rosario Topher Grace as Seth Abrahms Albert Finney as Chief of Staff Luis Guzmán as Ray Castro Viola Davis as Social Worker Clifton Collins Jr. as Francisco Flores Marisol Padilla Sánchez as Ana Sanchez Amy IrvingBenicio Del ToroCatherine Zeta-JonesCrimeDennis QuaidDon CheadleDramaErika ChristensenJacob VargasMichael DouglasMichael O'NeillRussell G. 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