7 May 2013 2:04 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

A gritty, gripping, intelligently made crime thriller, “Traffic Department” takes place on the mean streets of contempo Warsaw and exposes the corruption endemic to the police — and society at large. Polish helmer-scribe Wojtek Smarzowski focuses on seven police officers, members of the eponymous division who are friends as well as colleagues, and whose lives change after one of their number dies under mysterious circumstances. As much a social critique as a genre piece, the pic has already passed 1 million admissions since February in local release, and will soon roar into several prominent international fests, with announcements forthcoming.

As in Smarzowski’s earlier features, “The Wedding” (2004), “The Dark House” (2009) and “Rose” (2011), the multilayered narrative unspools in a nihilistic world where human venality and immorality are the order of the day. One can even see each of the policemen as representing one of the seven deadly sins, although the script never overplays this aspect. »

- Alissa Simon

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