By Rohan Murti
Utensils clanking, hefty furniture being thrown, a television set being shattered, rodents squeaking, and our hapless protagonist yelling his lungs out for attention: Vikramaditya Motwane’s ‘Trapped’ prioritises cacophony over redundant dialogue, making it all the more relatable. And despite belonging to the same niche genre as a ‘Caste Away’ or ‘Life Of Pi’, the movie is innately devoid of the adventure-driven adrenaline that its counterparts offered us. Here, a man is not lost at sea, but is all at sea in his most natural environment: a regular urban apartment.
Films like these tend to get sloppy, repetitive and mundane owing to the overtly experimented plot — a nagging doubt I had in my mind before watching this one, more so because it was entirely shot indoors. How can anything like this keep us hooked for 90 minutes? The trick, though, is in how it makes us empathise with the almost-comical but tragic irony of the man’s situation. It’s 2017, and imagine a young man stuck right above us, failed by technology, trust and common sense. Urban isolation is one thing, but it’s not even about these hidden meanings and metaphors when life becomes so dire, so unexpectedly, and so suddenly.
‘Trapped’ may be an average semi-feasible story, but it has an actor-director duo looking to raise the bar with some exquisite sound effects and cinematography. The craft is the real hero. It provokes incessant questioning from a curious viewer and seems to have the answer to every single one.
More importantly, ‘Trapped’ proclaims Rajkummar Rao’s acting prowess like none of his previous ventures have. A typical Rajkummar vehicle, high on content and devoid of all the unintended fizz. His character, Shaurya, is the average Mumbaikar running errands and grappling with the problems revolving around the love of his life, Noori (Geetanjali Thapa). The sincere, diligent and visually reclusive young office-going guy is then forced to win over his fears as he finds himself stranded inside the room of a high-rise building. As Shaurya groans in disgust, shudders in fear, screams in frustration and weeps in despair, we just can’t let go of the fact that he might as well end up dying up there. It’s a possibility. A stunning one. Dying where you’re supposed to live. Withering away where you’re supposed to grow. A disturbingly valid situation that forces you to be at the edge of your seat right until the end of the film.
Vikramaditya Motwane (of ‘Udaan’ and ‘Lootera’ fame) teaming up with the immensely talented Rao was perhaps bound to produce the masterpiece that ‘Trapped’ has turned out to be. The no-interval film is an overwhelming experience. A bullet that’s ripping the box-office owing to the most compatible revolver-holster pair!