Human TrafficMay 5, 2000
Five friends spend one lost weekend in a mix of music, love and club culture.
Release Year: 1999
Rating: 6.7/10 (11,564 voted)
Critic's Score: 53/100
Stars: John Simm, Lorraine Pilkington, Shaun Parkes
The Cardiff club scene in the 90's: five best friends deal with their relationships and their personal demons during a weekend. Jip calls himself a sexual paranoid, afraid he's impotent. Lulu, Jip's mate, doesn't find much to fancy in men. Nina hates her job at a fast food joint, and her man, Koop, who dreams of being a great hip-hop d.j., is prone to fits of un-provoked jealousy. The fifth is Moff, whose family is down on his behavior. Starting Friday afternoon, with preparations for clubbing, we follow the five from Ecstacy-induced fun through a booze-laden come-down early Saturday morning followed by the weekend's aftermath. It's breakthrough time for at least three of them.
Lulu's Uncle Eric
Jip's Ex #2
The Weekend has Landed!
Release Date: 5 May 2000
Filming Locations: Cardiff, South Glamorgan, Wales, UK
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: £434,261
(6 June 1999)
(21 May 2000)
Did You Know?
When Jip first picks up Koop in his car you here the radio broadcast of BBC's Radio One. The MC is Pete Tong, who is the movie's Music Supervisor. Pete Tong actually does have a weekly radio show on Radio One.
When Jip talks to the manager of the Asylum, Jip asks to use the phone to call his assistant. While he is on the phone, the camera flicks back the manager. In this shot, the phone Jip is supposed to be calling on is clearly visible in the foreground, still on the hook.
I can voluntarily perform a fanny fart at all times.
Justin Kerrigan hits gold.
Director: Justin Kerrigan.
Justin Kerrigan – this time you've really done it. Human Traffic is going
upset the majority of film critics who will view the lack of plot, the
induced dialogue and the futile outlook on Nineties Youth culture as a
miserable and desperate view of how weekends are spent by ravers and
clubheads across the UK. Moreover, they will spot camera work borrowed
Boogie Nights and even try and associate the whole film with
theme (because, lets face it, a Scottish Heroin addict trying to clean up
his act and a Welsh clubber looking for a good time with his mates is
much the same thing, right?)
Well wrong. Human Traffic has landed – along with one and a half quality
hours of clubs, drugs, pubs and parties – and its time to leave behind
preconceptions of what a film should be like (where's the plot? I want a
plot!) and instead delve into the lives of Jip (John Simm) and his mates,
Nina (Nicola Reynolds), Koop (Shaun Parkes), Lulu (Lorraine Pilkington)
Moff (Danny Dyer). There's nothing special about these five friends;
just hanging out together and showing you the way they lead their lives.
They are not Burger King. They certainly don't do it your way. And you
like it – well, tough.
Because essentially this period piece has captured everything that
youth culture is revolving around. There are no clear solutions, in fact
very few problems in the first place. At the end of the day, what Jip and
his friends are doing is living and who are we to know or comment on
anything different? They drink, smoke dope, pop pills and party; they know
the risks and they're prepared to take them and moralists will just have
sit back and (try to) enjoy the ride.
The sound track is terrific and accompanies the highs and lows of the 48
hour weekend and the events that take place in it. But within this, what
first appears to be social unity, we see traces of individual isolation
are easy to bypass in a culture of hedonism. Jips paranoia of sex, Koops
jealous possession of Nina and Moff as his drug habit digs him deeper into
his own hole and further away from his family, asks the question 'are
really this good?' However they will not be exaggerated to the extent that
they are conspicuous, giving the film a controversial stance on drugs and
the role in social integration. Kerrigan is pulling no punches. And why
should he? This isn't GO! or any other such American rave film with clear
cut margins and please-the-crowd conclusions – it is one that forces us to
question whilst at the same time enjoy the at times hilarious, touching
other times exciting events of 48 hours with a group of five
And for the die-hard British youth among you, this might not be reality –
but it's a bloody brave effort at depicting it.