The movie is based on the theme of isolation and survival of a man who accidentally gets stuck in his top-floor apartment of a newly constructed Mumbai high-rise. With no food, water, electricity and all attempts at getting help failing, how he fights to stay alive, forms the movie’s story.
Shaurya (Rajkumar Rao) lives in a shared apartment and has limited financial resources. He starts dating his colleague Noorie (Geetanjali Thapa) and the duo fall in love with each other. But to be with her for life and marry her, Shaurya has to find a separate apartment in a very short time in a city like Mumbai. He manages to find one but in the 35 floor of a barely inhibited building, ironically named ‘Swarg Apartments’, with the help of a dubious agent. The next day, Shaurya decorates the barely furnished home to welcome his girlfriend and rushes out to pick her up. He forgets to take his cell-phone, and when it rings, he goes back inside the house, and in his hurry, leaves the key hanging on the key-hole. As he is busy talking on the phone, a gush of wind shuts the door behind him, locking him inside with the key outside.
Soon, things start falling apart for Shaurya. His phone battery dies, he runs out of food and water and a fault in wiring causes a power failure. He screams for help but no one hears him from the ground several feet below or in the empty building, whose watchman is hard of hearing. In his determination to rescue himself, his instincts start working harder and he uses toothpaste to write ‘HELP’ on a placard and throws it outside the window, he throws out his expensive television set, hangs clothes in the balcony and sets fire to them to attract attention, but all in vain. Despite being a vegetarian, he starts eating insects and drinks his own urine to quench his thirst. He fights his fear for rats and starts speaking with them to beat isolation. Then mother Nature brings some relief in the form of a sudden rainfall, and Shaurya becomes crazy with the realization that there is still hope to live as he stores rainwater in every vessel he can find.
To make a film with so much limitations in terms of characters, location, dialogues etc. is not an easy task, and director Vikramaditya Motwane has done a brilliant job. The film is engaging, there are moments that make the audience squirm, moments that makes one scared and moments of thrill too. One cannot help but feel for Shaurya. The film totally rides on Rajkumar Rao’s shoulders, but the cinematography is so brilliant that the camera itself seems like a character which speaks, intensifies every emotion that the trapped man is going through. Rajkumar is a brilliant actor and has yet again given an astounding performance. His portrayal of the gamut of emotions makes the viewers feel his angst and frustration and even his joy when there is a rainfall. His conversation with rats brings a chuckle in the set-up of seriousness and despair.
‘Trapped’ is not a regular commercial film and has all the trappings of off-beat cinema, but is not devoid of flaws. Questions arise in minds like didn’t Shaurya have any friends in the city whom he could call? Didn’t he give the address of his new apartment to anyone? Wasn’t his girlfriend worried? And such others, but the tension in the movie is so much that these things can be overlooked.
The movie is not everyone’s cup of tea, but those who like survival thrillers will like it. It is indeed a scary thought to get locked up in a house in a busy city like Mumbai which never sleeps.