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Trapped  : Keeps You Rapt
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Friday, March 17, 2017
Thriller
Vikramaditya Motwane
Rajkummar Rao, Geetanjali Thapa, Khushboo Upadhyay

Shaurya is a young man with a deadline, a tight budget and he’s desperate. He must marry his girlfriend the very next day or he’ll lose her to an arranged marriage. And he has to find a decent roof over their heads. A shady sort of broker gets him just the right property – a furnished one-bedroom apartment in a new high-rise that’s totally vacant.

 

Perfect. Shaurya spends the night in his new home, puts his mobile for charging and wakes up to go get his bride. And the nightmare begins. The front door locks shut with the key still dangling outside and the lock inside gives way.

 

Frustration, banging, kicking, throwing things at the door. All Shaurya manages is a wound on his hand but the door stays firmly shut.

 

The solitary watchman has no clue anyone stays there. Shouting, screaming, nothing reaches the ground below from the apartment up there.

 

But Shaurya never gives up. He starts a fire near the window, he uses a sling to fling stones, even throws the TV down, anything to attract attention to himself. He floats messages asking for help, hoping somebody will pick it up and look up. A woman who goes out to dry clothes on a neighbouring terrace becomes a feeble lifeline for him.

 

Trouble triples when there’s no water in the taps or the flush, the electricity flickers out, there are no more biscuits left and horrors, a mouse is around too. He’s petrified.

 

Shaurya alternates between survival tricks and traits of desperation that border on craziness. He hallucinates, he even holds conversations with the mouse who’s gone from fearsome to friend.

 

Is it like Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours where a cyclist was trapped in an isolated canyon area? They’re both survival dramas and what James Franco went through in those 127 hours is similar to what Rajkummar Rao as Shaurya experiences.

 

But the change in the setting required a new screenplay and that is well-delivered by Amit Joshi and Hardik Mehta. Director Vikramaditya Motwane keeps the drama interesting right from the credits where Shaurya and his girl tentatively touch each other. And the drama keeps moving, making it credible, even eerie. There are moments when you want to shut your eyes – like when vegetarian Shaurya is driven by extreme thirst or hunger and what such a desperate man can do to survive.

 

While Vikramaditya is the man to cheer for picking up an unusual theme, it is Rajkummar Rao’s solo show as he keeps you locked in that apartment with him. He’s so utterly believable, even when he retches, you can see his whole body racking with disgust. Geetanjali Thapa as his girlfriend has a much shorter role for which she’s adequate. 

 

Perhaps the one point that goes against Trapped is that it has limited elitist appeal, the kind that gets its applause from the film festival circuit.

 

For a well-made film that stands apart from mainstream fare, Trapped gets a 3* rating.

 

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author
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