In a surprising move, Vikramaditya Motwane has just released his third movie, Trapped, without much fanfare. After winning critical acclaim for his first two ventures, Udaan and Lootera, Motwane goes low-key with his Rajkummar Rao starrer, but that doesn’t mean Trapped is any less effective that the other two movie. It is a unique thriller that strives in this one plot – what if you are trapped in your own house and no one can hear your screams.
Here’s our review of the movie…
What’s it about
Shaurya (Rajkummar Rao) is a not so well-off guy living in the big busy city of Mumbai, in a cramped flat with some dopey and unconcerned flatmates. He has a girlfriend (Geetanjali Thapa), and during a bout of making out session, he decides to rend out a flat where he can live in together with her. However househunting proves a bit problematic for him, since he is unable to cough up with the required money for deposit. But a shady dealer arranges a flat for him in a high rise building, ironically named Swarg apartments, that has only a single occupant – a half-deaf watchman who has no clue of his surroundings. Due to a cruel twist, Shaurya gets trapped in his own flat thanks to a jammed door, and he can’t even contact his friends about his predicament, because he can’t charge his phone. With no electricity and water, Shaurya is a prisoner in his own flat, looking for that one way to escape, while the rest of city bustles around him, oblivious of his situation. (ALSO READ: Trapped honest movie review: Rajkummar Rao’s one-room drama will keep you hooked easily!)
You can call Trapped as a thriller, a unique one at that, as nearly the entire movie revolves around one guy’s frantic attempts to survive against all odds in his own flat. But for me, Trapped is much more than a survival thriller. It is a social commentary on Mumbai and our busy lives, and how preoccupied we are with our lives, that we never pause to find out if anything unusual is happening around. The various scenes of Shaurya screaming hoarsely for help, as the city bustles around him may prickle your heart somewhere. Can such a thing happen in a city like Mumbai? The setup may sound incredulous, but it is not impossible. The director also doesn’t flinch away from showing the queasy scenes that involve vomit, urine and insect-eating, though it doesn’t entirely go into 127 Hours territory. Above all, Motwane has written the role of Shaurya well, who is not shown as a hapless guy but someone can come out with ingenious ways to save himself from doom with the little amenities that he has. Even though the premise is bleak, there are moments of dark humour interspersed in it like the scene where Shaurya laments to his captured rat that no one can listen to them. Or when he finally craves for those the little things that he previously despised – like travelling in a crowded train – in a hilariously edited fantasy scene. Siddharth Diwan’s camerawork and Aloknanda Dasgupta’s background score enhance the claustrophobic nature of the movie.
But Trapped works best because it resides on the strong shoulders of the National award winning actor, Rajkummar Rao. Rao brings that everyday man quality to the role, something which would have been lost if Motwane had cast a star instead. Be it those scenes where he has to express despair at the lack of food and water with no one caring about his plight, or his jubilation when a sudden rain acts as an oasis in his situation, Rao steals our hearts with his natural performance.
Trapped is a not a typical movie with the usual Bollywood sensibilities. While that’s good news for those who crave for different cinema, don’t expect the masses to ignore Badrinath Ki Dulhania and go for this. Also, while Shaurya’s ordeal in the flat is made quite believable, the entire setup that leads to his entrapment is a little too difficult to believe. While this is a minor gripe and it can happen to someone suffering from the worst case of misfortune, a little more believability would have been fine. Also there is an emotional scene towards the climax of the movie, that I won’t spoil for you, that looks a bit forced. With scanty promotions and no superstar headlining the cast, the movie must rely on positive word of mouth to sustain at the box office. (ALSO READ: Vikramaditya Motwane: ONLY Kangana Ranaut could have played the lead if Trapped was made with a female protagonist – watch EXCLUSIVE interview)
What to do
Watch Trapped for the incredibly brilliant performance of Rajkummar Rao and Vikramaditya Motwane’s tight direction. Recommended!
Our rating: Three and a half stars
(Reviewed By – Sreeju Sudhakaran)