Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours had James Franco stuck in a ditch in the middle of nowhere. There was nobody in the vicinity and no means of communication whatsoever. That was actually based on a real story. I don’t want to spoil the movie ending for you in case you haven’t still watched it but it was a decent ‘one-time watch‘ for its entertainment and thrill value. A similar theme of human endurance, eagerness to live and never give up attitude was seen in The Martian. Although, there as well, the protagonist was so far and away from humanity that it was almost impossible to come out alive. All in all, it was a treat to read/watch, chuckle, hope for the hero’s struggle and feel inspired. In both of the above 2 movies/books, it could be said that the person who got stranded or stuck had no other option but to fight for their survival. Also, they had themselves knowingly placed their own life in known danger. As in, they were quite aware of the issues and perils, one could face when they go away into the unknown isolation.

Vikramaditya Motwane’s ‘Trapped’ starring Rajkumar Rao is different as well as same from both of them. Same but different, you understand? It also has one guy stuck somewhere plot but here, the protagonist gets locked alone in a newly constructed building’s 35th floor, a building right in the middle of one of the most densely populated places on Earth, Mumbai. He even has a Mobile Phone with a low battery at his disposal (our real-life problems), although the building has elongated power outages (again our real-life problems) that can go on for days, as we know, this being India. So, basically, this guy is just stuck in an apartment in a new high-rise building in an urban setting but cannot call for help, as he is, you know, too high altitude-wise.

The plot is straightforward, and many a time predictable. I didn’t particularly feel thrilled as much I should have been. I should have cared for the protagonist but there were certain judgments I feel that could have been made better. For instance, throwing away cardboard to no avail, phobia of the rat, etc. I could think of some more ways to call for help. Also, a glaring goof in the scene when he actually gets stuck. He puts the keys in his pocket and then the keys were not there, or something of that sort.

However, there are certain nuances which brought multiple smiles to my face. Certain names, some foreshadowing, and funny name references were quite nicely done. Above all, since this was mostly a one-character story, Rajkumar Rao shone like anything. He created an almost flawless depiction of a slightly hyper person (which he did in his initial few movies and can do this really well) who don’t know what to do in such drastic situations. Kudos to him. He felt most real as a person stuck in a dire situation with really bad luck.

‘Trapped’ showed that for getting trapped, one doesn’t need to travel far and wide. One can be stuck in one’s apartment, into one’s life, into one’s work, and into one’s mind.

By the way, I am now 1 year into this apartment where I am staying right now. And I’ve already been and seen people trapped in it because of faulty locks. Since then I have learned 2 lessons:

  1. Remove faulty locks at once.
  2. Always take your mobile with reasonable battery left in the bathroom. For safety, of course.

I recommend watching any of the 3 movies mentioned in this post: 127 Hours, The Martian, and Trapped as all three have a one-man podcast kind of scenes. All three have a man trying desperate measures, risking the life, just to get out of these precarious situations. But, while 127 and Martian are eventually really inspiring movies, Trapped is a reality check movie.

So, next time you leave your house, keep your keys safe. Not too safe as well.

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February 7, 2018

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