Shyamala Rao (Rahul), or Shyam, an orphan who lives in Brindavan Colony, renting a room in the home of Maruthi Rao (Gollapudi) and his son-in-law Srihari Rao (Paruchuri Venkateswara Rao) and the latter’s cute but mute daughter Kamala (Sindhu Menon), is a painting artiste by profession working for Berger Paints. Swapna (Sonal Chauhan) is a girl who wants to become a heroine to fulfill the dream of her dad, a renowned stage artiste who fails as a film actor and dies in agony. Shyam and Swapna meet by accident and Shyam supports her dream and gets her into a good acting and dancing school of his friend (Shivareddy), and prepares her portfolio with the help of a professional photographer Sunil Bacchan (Sunil). Right before her first possible chance for acting, Shyam is hurt in the head due to a bad accident. As a result, he loses all the color in his life! Swapna embarks in her career as a heroine in director S.S. Rajamouli’s film. What happened to Shyam’s love that urged him to help her career? Did he express it to her? How did she react? Did her dream career actually take off? What happened to Shyam’s career?
Rahul gives an okay performance. However, his expressions need a lot of improvement – he gives a "painful" feeling in a lot of scenes unnecessarily. The diction for the role seems good, but with thanks to his dubbing artiste and singer Hemachandra! The Happy Days boy needs to shape some more. Debutant (in Telugu) Sonal Chauhan is okay-looking and does an okay job too. Her dubbing by Suneetha is good too. However, her role is that of a Telugu girl wanting to be a heroine, and there’s emphasis about the "Telugu" part too! It’s a pity that the makers could not find an actual Telugu girl with her own dubbing to do this role! Sindhu Menon, the loud girl of Chandamama, is cute and expressive in the role of a mute girl. The whole list of comedians written above are not used aptly to provide great comedic relief!
There’s not much comedy in the film, except that minor part which flows through the story. The only specific comedy bit that involves Sunil, Hema, and Master Bharath Kumar is in a rather bad state (with comedy being generated through the character of an obese, gluttonous, stubborn kid), though it may be enjoyed by some sections of audience. Veterans Gollapudi Maruthi Rao and Paruchuri Venkateswara Rao do the needful, in their minor roles. Prakash Raj appears in a short role as a doctor. Shivareddy is utilized well in the role of an instructor at the School of Acting & Dancing. He performed really very well in his introduction scene, and his already-popular dances imitating various heroes were used well. Kodi Ramakrishna and Srinu Vytla flash for a few seconds on the screen, star director S.S. Rajamouli appears in his real life role in a few scenes.
The story is different from so-called youth films churned out in Telugu. The title is justified by the story very well. The producer-director V.N. Aditya should be appreciated for taking up a different story for his debut production. The screenplay is okay too, and tries to keep focus on the main story point all through. The taking of the film could have been more involving and gripping. Dialogues by the veterans are apt, and some dialogues are particularly good. Music by Nihal provides a good backing to the film. Songs have lyrics that fit better on the screen, in both addressing discontinuities and giving more insight into certain lines. However, song picturization could have been better, generally speaking.
Visuals are good, particularly in the song challu challu challu… which is shot very colorfully, and Shivareddy adds more zing to the choreography. naa kaLLalO… is shot totally from a commercial aspect, so much that hero’s tender feelings towards the heroine are portrayed as mere lust; even that couldn’t save the audience anyway, as several left the theaters during the song! Choreography for the item number (with Sangita Ghosh) salasala salasala… is appreciable, while the classical dance composition for raaraa, swaami raaraa!… falls flat, both due to improper choreography and below average presentation by the female lead. Editing is okay.
- " meeru telugu chaalaa chakkagaa maaTlaaDutunnaaru. ilaa aitE dubbing artiste ayipOtaaru!" (Sunil to Sonal Chauhan)
- "raaraa naa kODakaa… analEka ‘Come on, my son!’ annaTTundi, sir!" (Rahul to Dharmavarapu Subrahmanyam)
- " ullipaayalu … eppuDU ammaayilani EDipistaayi, abbaayillaagE!" (Rahul to Sindhu Menon)
- " naaku peLLaam pOyindani Em raalEdu… neeku moguDu pOyaaDani vacchaavu!" (Paruchuri Venakteswara Rao to ‘paavalaa’ Shyamala)
- " kaLLu lEkapOvaTam kannaa colors lEkapOvaTam better-E kadaa!" (Prakash Raj to Rahul)
- " gannErupappu sonta cheTTudE ayinaa jeeDipappu anukuni tinamu kadaa!" (Gollapudi Maruthi Rao to ‘paavalaa’ Shyamala)
- " padi vElu istaananTE photo-ki anukunnaa… maa hospital kharchulakaa?!" (Sunil to Hema)
- " kanneeLLaku color lEduraa!" (Paruchuri Venkateswara Rao to Rahul)
- " Career meeda lakshyam peTTinappuDu mana migataa life antaa out-focus-lO unTundi…" (S.S. Rajamouli to Sonal Chauhan)
- Hero’s lip synchronization is bad in most scenes.
- Sonal Chauhan says she was given one lakh rupees as an advance. Rajamouli signs the check for a figure of Rs. 10,000/-!
Rainbow is a different story for a Telugu film, but the treatment is bland sometimes. Add to this the not-so-great performances, and the film may have to struggle to move forward. The first half is slow as the story is established, while the second half is better, but the treatment misses to strike a chord with the audience really well.
Cast: Rahul, Sonal Chauhan, Sindhu Menon, Gollapudi Maruthi Rao, Paruchuri Venakteswara Rao, Prakash Raj, Late Mallikarjuna Rao, Dharmavarapu Subrahmanyam, Sunil, Shivareddy, M.S. Narayana, Kondavalasa Lakshman Rao, Kadambari Kiran, ‘paavalaa’ Shyamala, Master Bharat, Master Arman, Master Akash, etc.
Story: Balabhadrapatruni Ramani
Screenplay, Dialogues: Paruchuri Brothers
Camera: Santosh Srinivas
Art: Anand Sai
Choreography: Suchitra Chandrabose
Lyrics: Vanamali, Baladitya, Jillella Varaprasad, Anuradha, Sahiti, Dr. Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna
Fights: Vijay Editing: M.R. Varma
Co-producers: Rajendra Chirumamilla, Basha Shaik, Sreedhar Gosukonda, Sri Adikhari, etc.
Executive Producers: G. Kiran Kumar, K. Venkata Nagaraju
Producer: V.N. Aditya
Co-Directors: Mahesh, R. Ravindra Tejaswi
Direction: V.N. Aditya
CBFC Rating: U
Release: October 2, 2008