Rainbow meant to centre on the irony of an artist turning colour-blind. Not intended to be a tragedy, the movie's general idea was to convey a metaphor for the significance of love in the world of colour. But we do not watch a film in order to decipher vague intentions hidden underneath layers of sub-standard movie-making. And that is what will be Rainbow's undoing.
Shyam (Rahul) paints hoardings. He meets Swapna (Sonal Chouhan), and falls in love with her, film-star aspirations et al. He enrols her in dance school, gets her portfolio shot and so on, not letting money get in the way.
Shyam's friend in need is the mute Kamala (Sindhu Menon), his landlord's grand-daughter, from whom he borrows money for Swapna's sake. One night both the women in his life are beset by danger, and while saving them, he meets with an accident that renders him colour-blind for life. Strangely enough, his heart doesn't seem to be colour-blind, as he sees only Swapna in colour, and that too, pink.
To sum up, we have some simple symbolism: a colour-blind painter, one vocally handicapped girl, one glamourous career-woman, one glitzy film industry, and one love triangle. Was this all too much to handle?
It may not be simple to make a meaty, poignant, award-winning film out of subjects like these, especially when V N Aditya is no K Viswanath. Rainbow is on the other end of the spectrum, where you take some abstract topics and have no clue about how to handle them. The result is a bored film that is indifferent to every character, every scene and every line. The critical difference between a concept and its execution is too well-known to point out, but that is precisely what sabotages this film.
The script is too elementary, and the dialogues are not great, with the jokes epitomizing the word "lame". They're the kind of lines that need a laughtrack. The film isn't aided much by its leading actors, either. Sonal Chauhan is so impassively wooden ('twig' is a more appropriate word), they might as well have paid a cardboard cut-out to do the job she's done. Raahul I'm sure wants to do his best, but that longing-puppy-eyes look works only upto a point.
But there is only so much that can go wrong with a film, or with anything, for that matter. A few actors who lend some colour to the proceedings are Sindhu Menon, who is convincing as Kamala - at least as convincing as she has the scope to be - and Prakash Raj, who plays Aditya's doctor, but in a tiny role.
The visuals get the point across, and that's about it. Switching from colour to black-and-white and vice versa, or colouring a girl pink on a black-and-white background, are not exactly archetypes of photographic excellence. The music is good - actually, maybe a little too good for the film.
In the movie, Prakash Raj keeps cheering up his patients with "Isn't losing colour better than losing sight?" or "Isn't having a hand broken better than losing your life?" How do you cheer up a film that's lost its soul?