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May 25, 2017 Thursday     

Trapped

With films like UDAAN (included in BTC’s Movies To See Before You Die List) and LOOTERA (a slow, off-beat romantic drama) to his credit, Vikramaditya Motwane is certainly a director who wishes to break through the traditional barriers of Hindi cinema opening new avenues for all, and his third film TRAPPED yet again turns out to be a rare experimental attempt led by a solid performance.

A unique attempt in Hindi cinema reminding you of survival series films such as BURIED (2010), 127 HOURS (2010), ALL IS LOST (2013), the classic CAST AWAY (2000) and more, TRAPPED as per its title revolves around a young man locked inside the apartment of an unfinished, deserted high rise building (in one of its higher floors) without any stock of basic necessities or means of communication for days (or weeks unclearly). Actually the promotional trailer of TRAPPED gives you everything about its basic content or plot and the only thing left to be seen remains the execution, performance and the way its director keeps you engrossed in a 102 minutes of duration (almost) without any supporting cast.

Thankfully, apart from its unconvincing dicey start and a few cinematic liberties taken in an otherwise realistic film, TRAPPED partially delivers the expected excellence through the visible efforts of an exceptional team of a daring director, cinematographer, background score composer and a lead performer largely overcoming the monotonous feel.

(*Spoilers ahead)
Not an easy watch for all, it has some gruesome, uncomfortable scenes focusing on the main protagonist struggling for existence going after pigeons, rats, cockroaches, insects and drinking his own urine too. Particular the ones having fear of rodents are sure to have some difficult time watching a few scenes focusing on them in particular. Expressing a lot about the uncaring nature of the city and its citizens through some interesting metaphors, the narration drags you in once you readily assume that this can possibly happen right in the middle of the ‘never sleeping’ city on an unfortunate bad day.

Appropriately shot in (mostly) natural light with a mix of extreme close-ups and realistic visuals, the director makes you part of the struggle and then you do feel the joy in every small victory of the survivor in the final hour of the film to be exact. Well supported by Geetanjali Thapa in the first 15 minutes playing the love interest, TRAPPED remains entirely focused on Rajkummar Rao in the rest and the actor once again proves that he is undoubtedly one of the finest talent of our cinema, who does deserve an equal respect and attention as given to Nawazzudin Siddiqui or Irrfan Khan by the media to be fair. Very aptly named as Shaurya (meaning bravery), Rao performs with perfection, though he does seem to be repetitive in the initial office sequences reminding you of his earlier films. Having said that you still cannot assume anyone else doing the role while moving out of the theatre giving the due credit.

Coming to its hurried, unrealistic beginning and the cinematic liberties taken, any survival drama’ key requisite is to convince the viewer about how its main protagonist gets caught in such unexpected, unpleasant situation with no possible contact with the outer world. In TRAPPED though the door getting locked by itself with the key in it and the later proceedings largely appear to be believable, it’s the initial build-up and the premise which sadly remains too fast, unconvincing and flawed.

Explaining the downers in details, first of all post a few weeks affair and physical intimacy, the entire urgency of getting married to an office colleague in a day, who is already engaged and going to be married in a few weeks appears to be too fast and unrealistic, and that too when the girl is not entirely convinced or ready.

Secondly, what kind of a well-educated, decently employed young man simply trusts a stranger broker (met in a corridor) who hasn’t even got an office of his own and who is not even the owner of the house or interested in arranging your meet with the actual owner in the first place? What kind of an educated person goes in a deal like this without any legal papers, clarifications or confirmations?

Thirdly, who takes up an apartment on rent in such a lonely high rise building, which is still under construction, left deserted for last two years for unknown reasons, with no one else living in any of its 30+ floors since last two years like a haunted place? What kind of sane mind opts for an apartment like this and that too for beginning your post marriage life bringing in the newly wed wife? (Frankly it more fits as a premise of a Ramsay film instead.)

Moreover, if you are selecting an apartment for shifting post your immediate marriage, then the apartment needs to be first approved by the lady, who has to live there as a wife converting it into a home in the coming days. But here Rao doesn’t even find it necessary to show or even inform the girl about the new apartment selected so strangely.

Besides if an under construction building is lying unused from last two years due to some legal trouble, then how can it get an official electricity and water supply like a normal society? Who will be paying for that…. the builder?

Next, as a major technical setback, the film doesn’t give you any timeline of its happening keeping you guessing. We are given no information about how many days Rao spends in that locked apartment and how many days he survives without food, before deciding to eat the pigeons, insects and more as the desperate last resort? So missing such important details in the script, one doesn’t get convinced about the saturation point coming so early in the narration, making it appear like too superficial on the surface lacking the required depth.

Also there are not any great nail-biting or scary moments in the script with the final escape missing the much awaited solid punch weakening the overall impact. Plus being right within the town surrounded by an active population, its more logical for a person to find the escape route first somehow climbing down the floors, before starting eating birds, rodents and insects as if he is living on a lost island with a never ending sea all around and sure death beyond the room if one decides to cross it swimming.  

In other words, finding the way to climb down would have been the first choice of a logical person in reality before thinking it’s all over and no hope left for life going for the pigeons and rats. Keeping myself in his place, honestly I would have gone for the climbing down option first before opting out for such desperate ‘zombie step’ without any doubt. Interestingly Rao also finally takes the same decision only in the film too but after doing all those activities since it was supposed to be a tense survival drama as conceived by the talented director.

Here would also like to add that as shown in the film, the narrow shaft looked like a more safe escape route climbing down the floors in comparison to the open balconies, falling from where, a person was sure to get more severe injuries or an immediate death.

Further I was really not amused watching Rao’s jeans slipping down while walking out of the building in the end, as if he has spent not days but months in the locked apartment eating almost nothing for survival losing so much weight.

Putting it differently TRAPPED works, if only you simply assume that it’s all quite possible and can happen to anyone (ignoring the logical facts). However if you start thinking about the reasoning then it does seem to be just a fairly engaging, decent off-beat attempt with a sincere solo performance and some notable merits. For instance the master class of a director is truly visible in the way we are shown how Rao is a strict vegetarian due to his followed religion and not by choice, how he is not comfortable in holding the girl’s hand first feeling shy and the way he quietly chooses to walk out of the building without saying a single word to the half deaf watchman looking at him in amazement. In my opinion this particular shot was the best shot of the film showcasing the director’s vision.

Regarding the film’s no-interval release.
It was widely quoted in the media that this is officially a no-interval release in the multiplexes with a motive to have a much stronger impact on the viewer. But to give you the truth, just saying or declaring doesn’t work here, as you also need to educate the exhibitors/theater owners/operators too as they did stop the movie (abruptly) at around 50 minutes in the multiplex I was watching in and probably the same is the case in many others too (like the routine practice they follow while screening all English films). So it wasn’t any no-interval film for me and perhaps many more giving you the actual ground report.

Summing up,
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.

Rating : 3 / 5 (Including a big one just for the praiseworthy solo act of Rajkummar Rao)

---------
For friends willing to read an after-thought with an alternate premise for the script that might sound more logical (but not for the faint-hearted).

Just a few days back, I watched a masterpiece attempt as OZHIVUDIVASATHE KALI (meaning: An Off-Day Game/2015/Malayalam) wherein a few friends go for a drinks outing in a deserted guest house situated right in the middle of a jungle with no village or building around in the radius of a few kilometers. They reach there all alone and just have a lady cook to take care of the food and nobody else even knowing about their visit planned as a secret tour.

Now for a different version of TRAPPED, let’s assume that these four friends are there in a similar deserted guest house which is looked after by a lady whose husband has gone to their village and will only be returning after next 20 days or so. The four friends who are there for playing cards and booze on a public holiday, get heavily drunk and in that state go after the lady-cook serving them unaware, waiting for her promised tip.

In their attempt to rape the cook, incidentally the lady gets killed in the room itself and they all are in a big trouble. In that state of panic the four decide to leave in their individual vehicles and also promise not to reveal anything to anybody about this secret visit and not to meet or call the other for the next 15 days too as a safety measure.

While running towards their own cars or bikes, one of the friends finds that he has left the bike’s key in the room. He gets back to find the key and meanwhile all the other three move in different directions in their cars or bikes. The fourth friend is searching for the key when his mobile battery also gets over. As he reaches the same room where the corpse is lying, he finds the key there on the table. But in a hurry to pick up the key without looking towards the corpse, he accidentally shuts down the only door of the room, with the key hanging in its hole getting locked inside.

Now he is standing locked in that awful room with the left-over cooked meat lying on the table along with plates, spoons and a knife, the lady’s corpse on the bed and the door closed with no charger with him of the phone already gone dead. Plus neither the cook’s husband is supposed to return before the next 20 days nor the three friends are expected to contact each other for the next 15 days as decided.

So how the person is supposed to spend this given time period in the locked room with the lady’s corpse all alone?
What he will eat and what he will drink post a day or so………..?
Will he pick up the knife and move towards the stinking corpse to have its flesh and blood?
OR
Will he decide to kill himself with the same knife itself and finish the story forever………..?

Surely this could have been a much more intense, brutal and shocking, bloody TRAPPED than the present one.

Cheers!

(All Rights Reserved - Copyright © March 2017 – Bobby Sing (Harpreet)/Bobbytalkscinema.com)

Tags : Trapped Movie Review by Bobby Sing, Trapped Film Review by Bobby Sing, Trapped Experimental Film Review by Bobby Sing, Udaan Lootera and Trapped. New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
 
 
17 March 2017 / bobbysing /
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The Ghazi AttackHindi Cinema has rarely dared to give us a realistic war movie that can be largely praised for its impressive onscreen portrayal. Moreover an underwater war movie has actually never been there before THE GHAZI ATTACK, giving the film its deserving credit of being the first project in this genre coming from the Hindi Cinema.

Fictionally decoding the mystery behind the destruction of Pakistani submarine PNS Ghazi in the Bay of Bengal during (before) the 1971 Indo-Pak war (as mentioned in its detailed disclaimer), the film made in Telugu and Hindi, begins with an voiceover of Amitabh Bachchan (giving an early insight of the story) and then never loses the grip in the next two exciting hours crafted skillfully.

The biggest merit of the film remains its talented cast ensemble featuring the terrific impactful Kay Kay, the ever-sincere Atul Kulkarni and a notably restrained Rana Daggubati in charge of the Indian submarine, along with Late Om Puri and Naseer (in short cameos) as their commanding Navy officers. Rahul Singh as a bit hamming Pakistani captain successfully plays to the gallery and Tapsee Pannu makes a decent emotional connect with the viewers in her few scenes. Milind Gunaji makes a surprising brief appearance after a long gap and supporting cast does it well despite not getting any detailed attention in the narration.

(Mild Spoilers Ahead)
Competently directed by the debutant Sankalp Reddy and well-scripted by his writers (including the dialogues), the film scores the maximum before the intermission and has a few minuses coming in the second half, which interestingly get shielded by a strong spirit of nationalism and the viewers mostly involved in the thrilling edge of the seat entertainment in its final hour.

For instance, in a particular scene it’s really strange to see the captain whispering to the operating officers about the danger ahead as if the opponents might hear him, the use of complete National Anthem towards the end looks like highly forced or unnecessary and then the collective singing of Indian soldiers reaching out to the Pakistanis in their better equipped submarine defies all logics of underwater acoustics quite weirdly. Also a few potential scenes strongly demanded a much stronger execution like the one where Rana saves two civilian’s lives in the sea and then returns back to the submarine in the given time.

Having said that, the team still bravely manages to deliver a highly engrossing and worth praising film considering its limited budget, less effective special effects and the fact that it all happens within the restricted areas of a submarine without any added sub-plot or the typical songs. Many brilliantly directed sequences lift up the narration repeatedly such as the heated interactions between the two captains, the senior captain’s emotional final farewell and the decisive ‘up and down’ games being played with the much strong rival in the climax. And for this the film’s writers, background score composer, cinematographer and the editor deserves equal praises too apart from the director, who certainly is capable of making a near perfect film next, if given a better opportunity.

In all, ignoring the forced filmy touches, THE GHAZI ATTACK largely remains a delightfully focused treat led by a talented cast, which is a rarity in the present questionable scenario of Hindi Cinema. So it surely deserves to be given a fair chance as your personal support to such courageous well-made films having no big stars.

Ending on a positive note, it was good to see the film being presented by Karan Johar, since the name has never been associated with such experimental, off beat cinema in the last many years……. raising many new hopes.

Rating : 3.5 / 5

Tags : The Ghazi Attack Movie Review by Bobby Sing, The Ghazi Attack Film Review by Bobby Sing, Real life inspired films, Indian War Movies, First Indian Underwater War Movie, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
 
 
17 February 2017 / bobbysing /
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Beginning with the hard truth, if a director decides to make a sequel of his first film after 15 odd years (which is a long time) and co-produces it too with the music company re-using its most famous track, then either he is too obsessed with the very idea or is not able/willing to go for any novel plots due to his own undisclosed limitations or professional fears. Ironically the statement gets proved when after watching the film one realizes that the director has not even gone for a sequel but has just remade the original film following the exactly same format with even more clichéd insertions in the name of fresh changes. (Spoilers Ahead)
So TUM BIN 2 loses its major marks as it’s not at all a sequel but a remake made by the same director after 15 long years when even generations change in a society following a completely different thought process and ‘their kind of’ cinema.
Mentioning its noticeable merits first, the sequel/remake begins on a shaky note with a good song and some grainy graphical visuals. But then picks up soon with the emotional quotient handled well in its first 30 minutes followed by some regular entertaining moments supported by the well written lines. In fact despite the completely predictable/outdated theme or story progression the film still decently manages to engage you till the intermission through its likeable performances, sweet interactions and Late Jagjit Singh’s voice on screen (though it would have been much better if the song was not tempered inserting an additional female voice.)
Where the first half has enough emotionally entertaining moments and songs, the second half fails to impress despite having a few good scenes coming at long intervals. The narration derails fast and then goes into a completely confusing zone becoming too lengthy with nothing novel or engaging happening in its prolonged climax. As a result what could have been a good emotional film (for the young viewers), remains just an average romantic saga based on a highly overused and lackluster theme wasting a fine opportunity of en-cashing the still fresh memories of its original film.
Offering nothing more than the routine predictable love triangle with ‘an assumed dead returning all of a sudden’ the film’s only merit is its touching scenes keeping the emotional level high especially in the first half. And the best scenes in the script include an emotionally distressed girl's honest conversations with her supporting would-be father in law, the family’s visit to the house of a Pakistani Hindu doctor living with his mother and Neha’s confession in a Gurdwara admitting her present love. Background score helps a lot in these particular sequences and cinematography does give it an elegant eye-pleasing look throughout. At the same time the soundtrack struggles to surpass or even match the standard of its original film with only a few good and not any outstanding songs to be exact.
Having said that just like the 2001 hit, TUM BIN 2 also has all sincere performances more specifically coming from the largely lesser known supporting cast. Aditya Seal impresses confidently leading them all (in the first half) and debutant Aashim Gulati is just okay with a lot of time ahead to learn the essential details. Neha Sharma tries her level best playing a difficult role and looks gorgeous on the screen providing the glamour too. But the greater impact comes from Kanwaljeet (as the father), Mehar Vij (as the elder sister), Sonia Balani (as the second sister) and the actors playing the cool Sikh husband and the young doctor from Pakistan. Plus Sandali Sinha (of the original) also features in a pleasantly surprising cameo in the film’s initial moments.
Coming to its shockingly unimaginative remake status, just see how writer-director Anubhav Sinha follows his own film without going for anything fresh and innovative in his ‘supposed to be safe’ sequel even after a gap of 15 long years.
Tum Bin 2 has the same story format of a boy dying and the girl getting attracted to the very (guilt-ridden) person who is responsible for her boyfriend’s death (reminding you of films like DUSHMAN, KINARA and more having related concepts). The original exactly had the same plot but in fact had a more matured one as there is no dead person returning in it like the sequel (strongly reminding you of films like SANGAM and more).
The 2001 film had debuts giving the lead cast a dream chance, a long road journey bringing together the two young souls, the falling business of the girl resurrected by the leading man, a key Sikh character helping the hero, the interval coming right after the entry of the second boy, the love triangle beginning post intermission and a hit Stereo Nation (Punjabi based) song added into the script making a good use of T-series’s own artists.
Surprisingly everything mentioned above is right there in this so called sequel too with a few boring and unexpectedly avoidable additions. Thankfully this time we have an original Sikh person playing the supporting character instead of any fake disguised one and TUM BIN 2 has another rehashed Punjabi track of the past too (following the current sick trend) re-proving the fact that the mainstream Hindi cinema today cannot really do without any Punjabi song.
But stating the positive difference, where the original moved around only its 3-4 lead characters without involving the supporting cast much, the sequel gives them a well written respected space and extracts some fine performances too enhancing its overall impact.
Yet that cannot be accepted as an excuse from writer-director Anubhav Sinha for re-serving the same old-fashioned love story to the new-age viewers in the name of an emotional, musical sequel.
In all, TUM BIN 2 doesn’t justify the status of a sequel (being a remake instead) and can simply be rated as ‘fairly watchable average film’ due to its emotionally rich first half, likable performances and the nostalgic cult song alone. Besides it just gets some extra marks due to a few noticeable lines as,
“LIFE is exactly like a nice summer vacation………… wherein the moment we are busy making our next grand plans….. it suddenly gets over and we don’t have any more time left in the granted days”
Indeed a nice ‘enlightening’ thought to take back home from the theatre.
Rating : 2.5 / 5
(On a personal note, I felt good to see ‘Sadness and Sentiments’ back on screen in a Hindi film portrayed well without any hurry (in the first half), which was not being allowed by 'the corporate producers and presenters' intentionally since last many years.
Ideally, this must make you think about ‘the emotional quotient or scenes’ in the recent Hindi films, not staying for more than a couple of minutes on the screen, forget about the SAD songs.
But let me keep this revealing info of ‘silent conditioning of young viewers’ for a separate detailed write-up to be posted in the coming weeks.)
Tags : Tum Bin 2 Review by Bobby Sing, Tum Bin 2 Film Review by Bobby Sing, Tum Bin Sequel, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Average and unrequired Hindi Film sequels
 
 
19 November 2016 / bobbysing /
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