Trapped – A Claustrophobic Nightmare

trapped-rajkumar-rao-motwane

Here is the Premise: you are stuck in an empty high rise without food, water and electricity. Your phone is dead, the security guard cannot hear properly. And no one can hear you scream. What Would you do?

Instantly gripping the story of Vikramaditya Motwane’s new psychological thriller is full of surprises from starting to end. But beware hidden inside the trap is something dangerous . Waiting to grip you.

Motwane, whose directorial debut(Udaan) was selected for Cannes Film Festival and won many awards is a marvel of script writing and fresh direction. His latest though is a completely different experience. In Trapped Rajkumar Rao plays a man who has to buy an apartment in two days, so that he can marry Noori(played by Geetanjali Thapa) whose marriage is scheduled with someone else. In a hurry and lack of money he gets conned into buying an apartment in a completely empty high rise. After that because of some circumstances he gets trapped inside the apartment 40 floors above the ground.

Rajkumar Rao in Trapped

Its a one Man show that Rajkumar Rao handles fairly well. While the physical transformation do not come across as clearly as it should have. His mental transformation is striking. Whatever role he gets he transfomes himself completely into the character. May it be a young and bubbly journalist that we saw last year in Aligarh or a destitute poor farmer who gets ‘trapped’ into the vicious cycle of money in ‘Citylights’, he is undoubtedly one of the most talented young actors working in industry today.

Trapped marks a step in history of Indian Cinema as first movie that willingly left the interval and provided uninterrupted show. While this not only gives the audience a feeling of getting trapped in the theater, this may mark an onset of movies that willingly let go of Intermissions. (While foreign movies also don’t have intervals, they are conveniently paused in the middle to cater to the Indian Audience who has had this habit of grabbing their popcorn in the intermission) . Trapped following Phobia last year marks a much needed move towards Psychological Thriller. This genre has stayed untouched y Indian directors until recently.

Trapped is well directed, some scenes are very tense. The whole theater squirms and gasps at the same time, thus showing the impactful story telling in the movie. While the survival aspect of the movie will remind you of Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, the backdrop and tense atmosphere reminded me of Director David Fincher’s Panic Room(2002) and Last Year’s 10 Cloverfield Lane. Once the claustrophobia settles in the movie intensifies. It touches upon that paranoia but returns suddenly back to the open ‘balcony’. The creators lost a great opportunity there. While there are small plot errors like our hero finding conveniently placed Match-Box with an unending supply of matchsticks, they can be forgotten in a bigger view. The music in the movie is well used, themes are generated using the ambient noises like metal scraping metal or the water droplets smashing on the floor, which goes well along with scenes.

With a beautiful end Trapped is a great psychological thriller and boasts of brilliant performance from Rajkumar Rao. With themes of facing your fears and life being an unending cycle-a trap; Trapped is a movie worth watching out this weakened.

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