Trapped (2017) premiered at the Mumbai Film Festival in October 2016. Here the film, a survival thriller, received a standing ovation. It is Vikramaditya Motwane’s third directorial venture after Udaan and Lootera.
Cast – Rajkummar Rao Yadav, Geetanjali Thapa
Directed by – Vikramaditya Motwane
Produced by – Madhu Mantena, Vikas Bahl, Anurag Kashyap
Written by – Amit Joshi, Hardik Mehta
Music by – Alokananda Dasgupta
Duration – 1 hour 45 minutes
Genre – Thriller, Drama
Censor Rating – U/A (Most cinemas are not admitting children below 13 years of age)
Trapped in Mumbai
The plot of Trapped is a straightforward one. A man is trapped on his 35th floor apartment in Mumbai. With none of the basics that are required for survival – electricity, water, or food.
Shaurya (Rajkummar Rao) is a young man in Mumbai who is struggling on many fronts. His meagre salary, his apathetic flat mates, and his drab existence culminate in him asking his girlfriend Noorie (Geetanjali Thapa) to marry him. Noorie agrees but on the condition that he finds them a place to live within the day. A rather shady agent leads Shaurya to a flat on the 35th floor of a deserted building. The next morning, the young man gets accidentally locked into his own apartment with the keys left out. He soon runs out of food, water, and electricity. And then starts one of the most gruelling tales of scourging and survival.
If you thought psychological thrillers suggest murder mysteries, go watch Trapped. The deep, often scarring impact that a struggle for survival leaves on its victims is a very personal tale. Motwane makes it every man’s story.
We first start to question the plausibility of the scenario. How does a man manage to get trapped in his own home, a rather swanky high-rise, in the heart of a bustling city like Mumbai? Even as Shaurya’s struggle unravels, we are reminded of the cold, uncaring, cruel face of our metros. No one cares, no one knows, no one bothers.
Only survivors survive. Shaurya’s attempts to seek help – from crying out to writing SOS messages with his own blood – all fail spectacularly.
And then we start to sink. Into the survivor’s struggle – fashioning out numerous devices from household items, collecting rainwater to drink, burning clothes and throwing items to attract attention. But we’re soon faced with the cruellest of masters – hunger.
Roasting pigeons may seem exotic on MasterChef, but when it comes to an idealistic vegetarian who is left to hunt pigeons that venture into his balcony and roast them for food – we are soon faced with our primal hunter instincts. Growing claustrophobia, hallucinations, desperation – we, the audience, go through each moment of agony and hope with Shaurya in the 105 minutes that the movie lasts.
We’re often left squirming in our seats, praying for a rescue.
Despite Rajkummar Yadav’s stellar performance, Trapped is not a one-man show. Vikramaditya Motwane is as much the hero of the film as Yadav. The film was shot within a span of a month, most of it in a 1BHK flat in Mumbai. Yadav reportedly did without any substantial food while shooting for his performance to remain realistic.
Apart from Shahid, Queen, and Citylights, this can be counted as one of his best on screen acts. Siddharth Diwan chose to shoot mostly in natural light, giving the film a very natural look and the editing keeps the pace up.
Trapped is not for the fainthearted. There are some very disturbing scenes in the film. We strongly recommend against bringing along children.
Trapped is not a movie that you will recover from in a jiffy. That, however, is precisely what makes Vikramaditya Motwane’s movie a resounding success. When the credits roll, your first instinct will be to escape the confines of the auditorium. Once you get home you will look at your fire exit and locks and wonder if you are capable of being trapped in your own home. For a while the stray pigeon that visits your balcony will be difficult to look at, you may even develop a fear of rats.
Trapped is also a story of strength and “Shaurya” shining through in the most difficult of moments, of the most unexpected of nightmares unfolding in one of the most commonplace settings – your own home. If you love a survivor’s tale, it is a must watch this weekend.
Rating – ***