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First thing first, there aren’t many logical flaws in Trapped. While the trailer was intriguing, it did receive lots of “phone hain uske pass, kisiko call kyun nahin kar rahe hain?” (why can’t he call someone when he has a mobile) kind of comments and both the director and actor (Vikramaditya Motwane and Rajkumar Rao) have repeatedly said that the film is going to explain this, and it does that conveniently. Yes, as you can expect, the phone battery gets drained and there is no electricity; and the reason behind that has also been pretty clear in the movie.

Trapped is a gripping, very much convincing psychological drama cum survival thriller which totally depends on the execution by the director and the performance of its lead actor. As many of you already know, this is a story about a man getting trapped at his own flat at a high-rise Mumbai building without electricity and much of food and water. The building is still somewhere under construction and some legal issues so no one (other than our protagonist) really lives there, which makes the situation more difficult for the guy and the film more compelling for us. Whether it goes the 127 Hours way (where a mountain climber’s hand gets stuck by a rock but he ultimately survives) or Buried way (where a truck driver gets trapped inside a coffin buried deep into the grounds, tries a lot to survive but fails in the end) is something you find out yourself.

But the interesting part is, the film is made in such a way that you can’t predict which way it will go. One moment you’re hopeful and feel this guy might survive, but then in the very next moment something happens and you get the feeling that things might not end up well for the guy. Motwane has directed the whole thing beautifully by infusing interesting flashback scenes and some surrealistic bits in the second half. The film has been shot claustrophobically (which was intentional for sure) and the terrific background score has only increased the amount of panic. Although very exciting and entertaining, this is not an easy film to watch. The more the film progresses, the more creepy and disturbing it becomes.

The film completely belongs to Rajkumar Rao though. As the helpless guy trapped in the apartment here, he is absolutely phenomenal. The way his facial expressions and body language changes as the film moves forward is an evidence of this guy being a naturally great actor. The script writers (Amit Joshi and Hardik Mehta) also deserve credit here for writing this character as a rather jumpy, kind of not-so-badass guy which has given Rao the opportunity to portray the evolution of this unfortunate guy, in the time span of the film.

Trapped is not totally perfect, though. The first fifteen minutes is kind of a drag, even though it is understandable that it is there to set the main thing in motion. And the final ten minutes also seem kind of unnecessary, although the very last scene is wonderful and shows the true nature of both the film and the character.

Vikramaditya Motwane has directed the refreshing coming-up-age tale Udaan and hauntingly beautiful period-romance Lootera before this. Compared to those two, Trapped falls a bit short. But even then, this comes off as a very taut, well-made survival thriller and also an indication of the director being versatile enough to try his hands at different genres.

★★★½

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