That Rajkummar Rao is a talented actor is nothing new. One glance at his past work aka Shahid, Aligarh, etc., and you’ll know this man is one of the finest we have around. Looking at the lineup of his films, I can’t help but think 2017 is going to be his year… and what a start he’s had to the year with Vikramaditya Motwane‘s Trapped. Motwani too has knocked it out of the park with this one after Lootera.
Shaurya (Rajkummar Rao) is a shy, meek and reticent guy, who develops a crush on his colleague Noorie (Geetanjali Thapa). Through a bunch of phone calls, he slowly but surely musters the courage to finally ask her out on a date. One thing leads to another and two start dating, knowing fully well that Noorie’s wedding has been fixed with a richer man two months from now. Two days before her marriage, Shaurya urges her to choose him over her future husband, and Noorie wants to, but the first question is “where will we live?”. Let me now introduce you to Shaurya’s life – he lives in tiny little flat with four other boys, who he’s barely friends with. The space is so tiny, you wonder how five people can fit in a house that small, but then again, you’re reminded it is Bombay. Living in minuscule spaces with a hand-to-mouth existence is a common phenomenon in the city. Anyway, Shaurya promises to find them another house within the next day and Noorie agrees to marry him. Sweet, right? Nope. You’ll see why.
After pestering brokers across the city, Shaurya finally finds himself a one bedroom house on the 35th floor of an uninhabited building with a watchman who does nothing but listen to the radio all day. As you know from the trailer, he moves into the house… and what was meant to be an incredible first day with the love of his life, ends up being possibly the longest day of his life. Noorie is waiting to be picked up at the station, but he accidentally locks himself inside the house with the keys on the outside. For the next 90 minutes, we’re shown the multiple attempts he makes to get out of the house he’s trapped in.
Vikramaditya Motwane does a brilliant job in keeping us hooked to the character for 120 whole minutes. He proves his mettle as filmmaker yet again and makes us empathise with Shaurya – almost like we’re the ones feeling the pain of being trapped. Holding the viewers’ attention in an incredibly underwhelming setting is not an easy task, but he makes it worth every single penny.
Rajkummar Rao delivers another stellar performance and makes you fall in love with the artist that he is. His pain becomes yours. His suffering becomes yours. His hallucinations become yours. Rao’s performance is so sincere, you will want to be scared for him, especially when he spots a rat. It’s terribly cute! At the end of the day, it takes a lot of acting talent and conviction to keep you glued to the screen when there are barely any props with almost no supporting cast.
Siddharth Diwan‘s cinematography is commendable. He makes you feel the claustrophobia, and provides us with a great example of how one can build tension in a movie without going over-the-top.
The film will make you squirm in your seat. In his quest to stay alive, he resorts to things most of us have only seen on Discovery channel. You will be left with goosebumps and you’re going to try really hard to watch some of those scenes with your eyes open. I know I covered my eyes! .
All in all, Motwani and him are a lethal combination. ‘Trapped’ proves wrong the notion that you need a big star to hold a film together. Rajkummar Rao is phenomenal in his portrayal of Shaurya, and makes this movie worth every minute you spend in the theatre.
PS – If you still haven’t seen the trailer, you definitely must check it out.