This review has been written on a special demand by my friend Prabhu Chandan
Year of Release: 2017
Shaurya (Rajkummar Rao) is smitten by his colleague Noorie (Geetanjali Thappa) whom he manages to woo and both of them start courting. Their relationship is kinda perfect but there’s one major problem i.e. Noorie has been engaged to someone else. She demands Shaurya to move to a new house (as he lives in a PG) so that both can start their lives together afresh and it will give her enough confidence to break her engagement. After an exhaustive search, Shaurya finds a house in an abandoned apartment from an unknown broker at a cheaper rate, to which he shifts that very day. However, fate turns its ways and Shaurya finds himself trapped in his apartment with no water, food or electricity (you need to watch the film to know how he got trapped) and all alone by himself.
How is Shaurya gonna help himself out? Who is going to help in saving him?
What I liked/loved about the film: –
The movie is quite off-beat to Indian filmmaking conventions though we have seen such movies in other countries more often. We have limited number of characters, one focal character and a film that depends completely on the amalgamation of the director (Vikramaditya Motwane) and the actor’s (Rao) acumen in their respective fields, and boy they have delivered! Motwane captures the complete psychological descent of Shaurya’s character with perfection and has also ensured that him being shut down in the apartment seems realistic. On the other hand, Rao delivers an enigmatic performance where he seldom goes overboard and is as natural as you expect a man in his place to be. We all know Rao’s potential as an actor and he delivers it everytime without fail; but the best thing about him is that he is not only capable of carrying an entire film on his shoulders but he also tries to better himself with his acts every year which is seen in abundance in Trapped.
On the technical side, Siddharth Diwan’s cinematography is sterling for he makes the sequences strong albeit being restricted to one single apartment. Nitin Baid’s editing is tight as accordance to the film’s writing which in turn is nearly void and depends on the directional work. The film has no songs in it premise which was a good decision in my opinion to prevent the audience from any sort of distractions.
The movie explores the theme of human emotions and human decline from morals, religious values and philosophies when pushed beyond limits. We see Shaurya question his principles as to whether he, who is a vegetarian and believe strongly in animal rights, should feed on birds and animals in order to survive. We also find him battling his phobia of rats and face his fears as time passes by. We see his fall from civilisation to minor barbarism as he begins feeding on ants, killing birds and the rat, drinking water from a commode flush tank and what not! Motwane and Rao successfully manage to pull the audiences virtually into the film which not just breaks its protagonist down but also tears apart its viewers who witness things they would never wish to happen to anyone, lest alone themselves. Trapped is hence, artistic and brilliant in numerous ways making it highly praiseworthy.
What irked me about the film: –
Here comes the difference between Indian movies and Non-Indian movies in showcasing survivalistic flicks. The Hollywood approach (for example) to such a film would have been to render it as a thriller and the film would have ended around 20-30 minutes prior to Trapped’s runtime of 105 minutes. On the other hand, instead of being thrilling, Trapped is more dramatic and its painful depiction of Shaurya plight becomes excruciating after a certain point of time which may force you to wish that it ended earlier than it did. In other words, Trapped itself descends from a nail-bitting premise to a difficult-to-endure one where the audience feels overexploited by its indepth human psychological analysis.
Moreover, I really didn’t buy that Noorie would simply abandon Shaurya even without enquiring as to why he didn’t show up. I completely understand her decision to marry to her fiancée in Shaurya’s absence but the film should have explored Noorie’s condition at the time her lover was shut in, which led to her taking the decision that she took. I was also unconvinced with the film presenting that no one cared to look for a missing Shaurya, not even his company employees because no matter how much reserved a person is, people and especially his employer can always notice his absence and would try to contact him. Same goes for his family members who would be worried as to why Shaurya hasn’t contacted them for a long time. Motwane wanted to depict that no one cares about you in reality but he definitely took a wrong path to showcase it.
Final Verdict: –
Trapped isn’t the kind of movie we see everyday in Indian cinema and is a welcome change to our filmy paradigm. The film is supported by Motwane’s stellar directional work who in turn puts it on Rao’s able shoulders. In spite of its slight imperfections and overstretched premise, Trapped is a wonderful piece of artwork and may go down in future as one of Bollywood’s modern masterpieces.