wogma rating: Watch but no rush (?)

quick review:

What if you were cut-off from civilisation all alone in a jungle? A concrete jungle. Trapped provides the creepy crawls. However, the anxiety is more for what you will be made to watch next, and not on behalf of the character.

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Running time: 105 minutes
Genres: Thriller
More Movie Info

Most of this interval-free film, I was waiting for something filmy to happen. Anything. But, no coincidences make you roll your eyes, no one asks you to suspend your disbelief for a good portion of the film. Shaurya (Rajkummar Rao) is stuck so bad and you know it is only going to get worse. It is just that kind of a film. It doesn't relent. It is an unreal situation in a very real setting. So, if this unlikely event did occur, Shaurya would behave more or less like he does. This works in bringing the chill. But, the eekiness comes from anticipating worse things to happen rather than worrying for Shaurya or even imagining yourself in his place.

The backdrop of Mumbai's tall buildings help in making Shaurya and you painfully aware of the smallness of our non-existence.

When your insides physically react to something that is playing on screen, you'd think you come out of the film wowed. However, all I wanted was the Trapped feeling to be off off me, pronto. Sure, you feel relief when Shaurya finds even the littlest release from his tight situation. But, it was difficult to discern if it was for him that I felt relaxed or for myself. That's where the disconnect is.

Interestingly, nothing gory is shown explicitly. But the implications have enough of an impact. Maybe it is a cake walk for the regular audience of Fear Factor or some such. But, for the stranger sitting next to me and me, looking at each other was more entertaining than letting that cringe take over the body. Of course, Rajkummar Rao makes you believe every bit – whether it is his gullibility, stupidity or his ingenuity.

However, the horror tone in the first half felt like a distraction because Trapped is a “survival and competency” story. Even if it isn't at par with others in the genre, the resemblances to 127 hours, The Martian, (Home Alone?) and even a nod to The Shawshank Redemption are unmissable.

Fortunately, what we have seen in Vikramaditya Motwane films so far, is true of Trapped too. Despite the slow pace of the film where at most times it feels like, “nothing is happening”, there isn't a dull moment. While there is nothing lyrical about Trapped, a la Lootera, there is a pulsating aura through and through. The background score works beautifully in tandem with the sounds in the film. A movie with a stranded protagonist tends to get philosophical. The backdrop of Mumbai's tall buildings help in making Shaurya and you painfully aware of the smallness of our non-existence. A situation like that does bring perspective, even if it is lost as the end credits roll.

What would you do if you were stuck in a Mumbai building and no one knew of it? Maybe you wouldn't be as stupid as Shaurya. Maybe you would try the smarter things first, the ones that he thought of later. But, the question is would you be any less desperate? Would you not try everything at your hand? To that extent – making you wonder what you would do – Trapped engages. But, other than that you are looking out to escape the disgust.

- meeta, a part of the audience

30 reviewers(?) - 21 yays 6 so-so 3 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Sreeju Sudhakaran, Bollywood Hungama : ...Trapped is a unique and engaging thriller, bolstered by a fine performance by Rajkummar Rao. It might not appeal to frontbenchers with a taste of commercial cinema, but for those who want something different from Bollywood, Trapped is recommended watch for you, albeit a bold and uneasy one. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Rohit Bhatnagar, Deccan Chronicle : ...Also, it’s a myth that a superstar can only save a film. Tapped breaks the barrier for winning hearts with its content. It is so difficult for the reviewer to find a flaw. Overall, Trapped is a brilliant film with a crisp narrative that will keep you glued till the last frame. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Smita Vyas Kumar , Desi Martini : ...Trapped is a must watch for everyone (Sorry, not for kids). It has terror, fear, despair and the two most important human qualities that set us aside from other animals – hope and intelligence. Be warned, there are plenty of scenes which will make you feel very squeamish. So you may spend a lot of time with your eyes closed. But don’t let that stop you. Have a great weekend. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Bhavini Trikha, Desi Martini : ...Vikramaditya Motwani has never disappointed us, from the trailer itself we could make out that the movie is going to give you goosebumps. The plot is intriguing and won't let you get bored even for a second. It will keep you hooked till the last scene. You can feel the character's pain and helplessness and how he ends up fighting his own fears. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Samedha Arora, Desi Martini : ....This is an exciting touching film, where you want to be a part of ride and unravel how he manages to hold up till the end. Giving an insight about how he survives would give away too much, you just have to be trapped along with Shaurya. This is a deeply inspirational movie about the human spirit’s refusal to give up, but it is also a portrait of a man too much in love with life to let go without a fight. If you have taste for unusual cinema stories and great acting skills, there is no way you can miss this one! ... full review

Thumbs up, by Rachit Gupta, Filmfare : ...Vikramaditya Motwane could have refrained from the Castaway inspired romantic conflict in the third act. While it doesn’t make the film any less effective, the same situation could’ve been used to convey grittier emotions. But the few inconsequential slip ups aside, Trapped is a film that pulls you into the void of fear and despair with remarkable ease. It’s a thriller compels you to think, analyse and pray. This is an intimate affair with the scarier prospects of a lonesome life in a big city. Insightful and effective, Trapped is a must watch for all movie buffs. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Josh, : ...These are very inconvenient to remember or acknowledge. Which is why we can't recommend Trapped. Enough. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Vishal Verma, : ...Certainly not for the weak hearted, weak stomachs and entertainment hungry souls of Bollywood, TRAPPED is a triumph in Bollywood's claustrophobic thriller genre that is masterly crafted by Vikramaditya Motwane and brilliantly acted by Rajkummar Rao. If you want to get rid from the 'trap' of the routine Bollywood thrills and have the appetite to try something different and new then get 'TRAPPED' at your nearest screens. - See more at: full review

Thumbs up, by Rohit Vats, Hindustan Times : ...Trapped is a defining film for Motwane who has become braver in using small spaces and silence. It’s the beginning of a style that we must see in his next films. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Ananya Bhattacharyal, india today : ...Watch Trapped this week. Be thankful that you have the option of opening a door and getting out. And make sure you double-check the locks before that door shuts and you're, well, you know.... full review

Thumbs up, by Uday Bhatia, Live Mint : ...None of this would matter if Shaurya’s struggle wasn’t moving – if we didn’t see some of ourselves in his determination in the face of insurmountable odds. “From ourselves comes only that which we drag forth from the obscurity which lies within us, that which to others is unknown,” wrote Marcel Proust. The book, fittingly, was Time Regained. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...That 'Trapped' manages to grippingly hold your attention with such an underwhelming setting is an achievement in itself. That it could invade your senses makes it worth every minute, without any break, in the theatre. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Surabhi Redkar, MiD DAY : ...Watch or Not?: Trapped is no regular movie and hence not everyone will enjoy it. Those having a penchant for survival dramas will find it intriguing enough. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Jaidev Hemmady, Movie Talkies : ...Vikramaditya Motwane, who made his debut with Udaan and followed it up with Lootera, has done a masterful job of keeping the viewers on the edge of their seats with their fingernails between their teeth as they watch Shaurya and his struggle for survival. This film doesn't have any larger than life action sequences or glossy item numbers or A-listers, but Trapped is a terrific thriller, which should be on your 'to watch' list this weekend.... full review

Thumbs up, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...This one is not for the faint hearted, especially if you have a disproportionate fear of rodents. But for the rest, being confined to this celluloid seclusion makes for a thrilling affair. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Raja Sen, NDTV : ...That unrehearsed feel, I suspect, was what Motwane was going for. He's a filmmaker who made a small, much loved gem in Udaan, and then a giant period drama called Lootera which I adored, but which ended up being watched by too few. Perhaps this, then, is the story of a director - trapped by big-budget pressures - who needed a small win. This one is a breakout. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...The life of the 'hero' of Trapped, like millions in the city, hinges on his "next salary". He is a bloke who is easy to miss in a crowd. He is as faceless as they come. But when push comes to shove, the savage within him rears its head. Yeh hai Mumbai meri jaan! ... full review

Thumbs up, by Rajeev Masand, : ...Although it’s only 103 minutes in running time, it’s true the film feels long and stretched, as movies of this genre – centered around a single character – usually do. Nail-biting moments, unfortunately, are too few. Yet despite its occasional shortcomings, Trapped is a wholly involving drama that you become quickly invested in. The bulk of the credit for that goes to the film’s incredible leading man who delivers his finest work here. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...Every man is a master of his destiny. It may not always bring him love but a new lease of life? One can always try. Trapped says it’s a good thing. Even in big, bad Mumbai.... full review

Thumbs up, by Nandini Ramnath, : ...Vikramaditya Motwane’s Trapped is an allegory about present-day Mumbai as well as a lesson in screenplay deconstruction. The nail-biting drama sets narrative and philosophical snares for its lead character Shaurya, pushing him towards harm’s way ever so often to see how much he, the crew, and the audience can endure. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Renuka Vyavahare, Times of India : ...However, given the nature of the story, ‘Trapped’ does test your patience after a while. You also doubt the protagonist’s intelligence and sanity. Why would you rent a flat from a dubious agent, in an empty building? A few occurrences seem implausible. How come even fire doesn’t draw any attention? Nonetheless, the mounting tension makes you overlook these flaws and a bloated run time. ‘SH** happens’! ... full review

So-So, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...Even at a 100-something minutes, Trapped feels a tad stretched, but Rajkummar Rao ensures that the film is never less than watchable.... full review

So-So, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks : ...despite having a flawed basic premise and a partially convincing narration, TRAPPED still remains worth visiting for all supporters and lovers of experimental cinema featuring a splendid solo act. So do watch it in a theater giving it the much deserving chance, as possibly you might love the movie much more than I did. ... full review

So-So, by Yugantika Sharma, Desi Martini : ...One time watch serves with a great lesson for life. ... full review

So-So, by Somini Sen, : ...It is a film that entertains you. It rather makes you uncomfortable and makes you think ‘what if it happened to me’ but it’s worth a watch for Rajkummar Rao’s performance solely. ... full review

So-So, Sify Movies : ...Overall, the film makes you feel trapped in the auditorium. ... full review

So-So, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...Rao maximises the minimal set-up available to him as an actor to bring out the vulnerability as well as resilience of Shaurya, moving from exasperation to suffocation to despair with specks of humour and hope thrown in. The music and sound only magnify the tension.... full review

Thumbs down, by Anna MM Vertticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...Sadly though, the film is unable to maintain those interest levels through its 102 minutes and 56 seconds running time. This promising premise combined with the formidable talents of Vikramaditya Motwane and Rajkummar Rao should have added up to much more. ... full review

Thumbs down, Free Press Journal : ...There’s little tension to be had here and empathy for Shaurya’s plight doesn’t come as readily as it should because of the contrived nature of the survival run. There are quite a few flaws in this contrarily furrowed experience but Rajkumar Rao’s performance is not one of them. Rao is harrowingly sincere in his efforts to convince and he is the only reason (if at all) to watch this trumped-up, highly pretentious affair. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Manisha Lakhe, Now : ...It is a relief to finally see him escape. But then unkind ideas for alternate endings where the rat brings his entire family to eat him up pop in your head. Art house films... ... full review

19 tweeters(?) - 19 yays 0 so-so 0 nays

TheFookFace: Trapped is the best Hindi film of the year so far.

sohompramanick: considering budget & screens, it is a HIT... #Trapped is an awesome film!!

saketpgupta: #Trapped is a must watch! Very well written.

pratyush_jha001: Loved Trapped and no words for @RajkummarRao What a fabulous actor. Cheers

PBnrg: Just watched Trapped! Someone give @RajkummarRao all the awards already!!

myrjashwini: Just one word for the #Trapped movie Masterpiece

mdarifkhan87: If there is one Actor who can punch above his weight with his skill. It has to be @RajkummarRao What a brilliant performances in #Trapped

Majevichar: The movie'Trapped' was excellent. Great performance by Rao.

Lvenky73: Hearing great things about #Trapped .. must see it.

jahanbakshi: Superb piece. Watch #Trapped and then read.

imjimil: I am Scared!!! Just watched #Trapped, @RajkummarRao Your Performance Is Just Beyond The Limit!!

iamsahilmiglani: Watched #Trapped and learnt that @RajkummarRao you are the best actor in the whole world. You are an institute of acting. Amazing movie

Heeraarora: #Trapped देखने के बाद घर आते ही सब से पहले मैंने अपने दरवाज़े का लॉक ठीक करवाया @RajkummarRao #BrilliantU #watchman #Watchman #watchman

hardik_modi: What a movie! Rajkumar Rao is a genius! Vikramaditya has nailed it! Terrific stuff! #Trapped

giveawayvucio: #Trapped whatt a film. Go without water in this no interval film and it will send chills down your spine. A must must watch.

connectome: Superb performance by @RajkummarRao in #Trapped movie.. Stars for you man...

avradeep83: Trapped - brilliant survival based edge of the seat thriller with bravura performance by Raj. The film is technically solid in all areas.

AroraNeelesh: The movie was gripping, and what brilliant acting from @RajkummarRao #Trapped

aniroodh: What an xperience.#Trapped is one of the rare

2 readers - 2 yays 0 so-so 0 nays

Yay! Thumbs Up, by fanofcfc8 : a Definite watch !

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Nikhil : Awsome

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Protagonist kills and cooks a pigeon
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A liplock and making out in one scene
  • Concept: The protagonist locks himself in an appartment with no electricity, water or connectivity.
  • General Look and Feel: Concrete grey

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Trapped - Cast, crew, links

Official Sites:
Lead Cast:
Costume Designer:
Running time:
105 minutes

Comments (2)

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i was hoping nothing "filmy" happens...thankfully there was none..a very engaging movie...Rajjkumar is a brilliant actor.

Simply awesome and no words to explain. Just go and watch the movie in theatres.

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