By Noyon Jyoti Parasara
If you have already seen the trailer of Trapped you would know what the film is all about. Many of you might even have questions as to how is it possible that a man gets trapped in an apartment in a city like Mumbai, which rarely lets you be alone for a minute. Rest assured, you will find some valid answers to your queries when you watch the film. Promoted as India’s first survival drama, Trapped stays true to the genre, till the last minute. This film takes you through extreme despair and absolute joy in those 105 minutes in a near effortless manner.
Trapped starts on a light note. Almost like the lull before the storm. Shaurya, a bespectacled young guy, falls for Noorie, his pretty colleague. After a few attempts at striking a conversation, he manages to take her out for dinner. The attraction is visible and soon love comes into the picture. And along with it an urgent need to find a place to stay at a joke of a budget. Motwane makes sure he moves to the ‘trapped’ part quick.
There on, Rajkummar Rao takes over. There are not many dialogues, for obvious reasons. There are more of screams for help. But Rajkummar seldom needs dialogues. He is capable of using body language like few others. He takes this film as an opportunity to remind us why he is one of the best talents we have today.
Trapped is beautifully organic. The screenplay never for once gets unreal. The first victory is the ability to set up the character of the protagonist. This is a shy, vegetarian guy who loves pao bhaji and is content living with few other roommates in a cramped one-bedroom apartment. He does not earn much and he lies to his roommates as he moves out with a silly excuse. He is a guy who could be entertaining but could also be annoying. A more sensible guy would have probably been more careful while walking into a trap. So when he is actually stuck without a phone and electricity you know it is his fault. There is a moment when he could have some respite on the second day, but his fear of a mouse holds him back.
These moments help the screenplay fall into place. And very effectively, as you will probably feel terribly helpless as you see Shaurya deal with his situation. During the screening, the lady on my right side kept shielding her eyes with her dupatta as she fidgeted helplessly. That’s what Trapped does. It involves the audience. Do not be surprised if you find people gasping with relief every time Shaurya finds new hope. Shaurya on his part goes through the usual options, trying to find his way out.
The film will obviously remind you of other survival dramas films like 127 Hours, which have received much acclaim. To compare would be unfair. Trapped is unique because it is set in a city and not in middle of nowhere. And it is convincingly done. Vikramaditya Motwane even finds his own Richard Parker in an obvious hat-tip towards Ang Lee’s Life of Pi. He also seamlessly weaves in a fair bit of humour in the stark situations to make things bearable.
What helps Trapped is that it is releasing without an interval. The film joins the likes of Dhobi Ghaat to manage a release without the dreaded intermission, which has often been the single biggest threat to the screenplay in Indian films. Nothing really holds this one back. Trapped is an ace.