We all have seen characters trapped in direst of situations with no or limited resources. We have been in that situation for 6 years with the hit series Lost, we’ve also seen the film that inspired Lost, Cast Away. We’ve seen 127 hours & then, more recently, Life of Pi & Buried. But though Trapped centres on one man’s fight for survival, he is not on a deserted island Cast Away / Lost or an isolated canyon 127 Hours or an ocean Life of Pi but in a Mumbai apartment, right in the middle of a crowded street. Vikramaditya Motwane’s brilliance lies in turning this unsuspecting setup into a hellish playground.
If one didn’t watch the trailer before going into the movie, then it will start quite unsuspectingly for them. And if one did watch the trailer, then there will remain a few questions about the situation, though the general situation should be generally clear.
Rajkumar Rao plays Shaurya, a strict vegetarian who’s fighting many demons together. Like many others in Mumbai, his hand to mouth existence is preventing him from marrying his girlfriend. He lives in a shared apartment with almost no connection with other flatmates.
Finally, he summons the courage to rent a separate apartment where he can live with his girlfriend. And that is where the problems begin. Limited budget forces him to choose a 35th floor flat in an uninhabited apartment that’s ironically named Swarg or Heaven. Within hours of moving in, he gets stuck in his own flat without food, water, electricity, or a functioning mobile phone. Because watching him go through that ordeal, you know this could happen to anyone. The film in its core is a survival drama, and Motwane and his writers put an interesting spin on things.
Trapped is also as much an allegory about the city. A concrete jungle where one is well and truly on one’s own, despite being surrounded by thousands of people at any time.
Motwane and Rao form a lethal team that keep us hooked. Though there are shortcomings, but the film is generally thrilling. Trapped is also unique because it’s unlike any other one-room drama. It remains a personal story, more like a leaf out of Shaurya’s life than a cinematic celebration of a survivor.
I’m going with 3½/5 stars for Vikramaditya Motwane’s Trapped. Given the length of the story, at 103 minutes, Trapped does test your patience after a while. Nail-biting moments, unfortunately, are too few. But in any case, the bulk of the credit for whatever Trapped is, goes to the film’s incredible leading man who delivers his finest work here.