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Trapped review: Rajkummar Rao gets you entangled in web of agonising reality

Release Date: 17 Mar 2017 / Rated: U/A / 01hr 43min

Cinestaan Rating

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Keyur Seta

Vikramaditya Motwane's film raises deeper questions about life in urban settings.

Director Vikramaditya Motwane’s Trapped is about a man who is trapped in an unexpected situation. Along with the protagonist, the audience is trapped in a web of agony, hopelessness, questions about human existence and, finally, the after effects. To put it simply, Trapped shakes you up through its scary situations and Rajkummar Rao’s incredible act!

Trapped centres on Shaurya (Rao). He works in an office in Mumbai and stays with some roommates. He gets interested in a colleague, Noorie (Geetanjali Thapa). Because of his shy nature, he is hesitant to speak to her. But once he does, he can’t help himself falling madly in love with her. Noorie, too, shares the feeling. But their union is difficult since Shaurya doesn’t have a house of his own.

To make matters worse, Noorie’s parents arrange her marriage with someone else. This is enough to push Shaurya to frantically look for a house. He comes across an apartment in a newly built highrise. Impressed with the flat, he buys it. However, circumstances ensure that he is trapped in the house... and has no hope of coming out. Will he ever come out alive of the living hell? 

Although Trapped hooks you right away, there are a few niggling issues in the beginning, including the manner in which Shaurya gets the flat. The situation is similar to Rao’s own CityLights (2014). But you forget these doubts once Shaurya is trapped. The all-important incident and its terrible consequences are handled intelligently. Once you get involved in the protagonist’s struggle, you do not think of anything else; not even the interval (thankfully, the film is being released without an intermission).

Making the audience feel a character’s agony is the ultimate aim in survivor films and this is achieved in Trapped. So, the proceedings become depressing and disturbing at times. But this only means that the content is highly effective. Though there are times when the narrative threatens to drag, some turn of events in the latter half take you by surprise and the climax provides a resounding kick. 

As more than 80% of the screen time is given to Rao alone, the film has no dialogues, except in the beginning and the end. Motwane scores highly in providing visual narration with respect to the protagonist’s struggle. There are moments with high drama, but hardly any words. The incident of Shaurya trying to take help from a woman and the sequences featuring the unconcerned and indifferent security guard provide edge-of-the-seat moments. 

Thankfully, the makers haven’t overcompensated for the lack of dialogues with a loud background score to create drama. Alokananda Dasgupta has intelligently used music in a limited way, which works well. Cinematographer Siddharth Diwan displays his skills well despite having to shoot most of the film inside an apartment. 

The film depends heavily on Rao’s performance. The other positives would not have appeared so impressive if he had not risen to the occasion. But he does and how! It is an act that compels you to include him in the list of finest performers currently. One can only imagine the physical and mental strain he went through in playing this role. 

Thapa as Noorie shows her talent despite limited screen presence. She won the National award for Best Actress for her performance in Liar’s Dice (2013). Khushboo Upadhyay, as the woman staying near the building, and the actor playing the security guard are also memorable. 

Overall, Trapped is not just about whether the protagonist survives. It has some deeper questions that, in keeping with the nature of the film, remain unanswered. As you walk out of the hall, you ponder over the real meaning of being trapped.