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Rated NR · 94 minutes · 2006

This drama about the plight of widows in India has righteous intentions, but it roundly betrays them with an unctuous tone. Priya (Sonali Kulkarni), an educated and wealthy young woman, is shunned by her in-laws when her husband dies. With no parents of her own, she flees for Vrindavan, a supposed refuge for widows. What she finds is squalor, abuse, and criminal violence. There, Priya assumes her mission: with education and healthcare, to liberate and empower Indian women who've lost their husbands. It's an important endeavor, for Priya and for the film, but writer-director Dharan Mandrayar can't stop browbeating us with sentiment. Rather than inviting the audience into the suffering of the abandoned women, allowing us to witness and respond, Rainbow attempts to prescribe our reactions with melodrama and self-pity. Besotted with pathos, the film leaves room for no feelings other than resentment: Why haven't we been trusted with the material? As with many dramatizations that are "based on true events," Rainbow makes you wish it were a documentary instead.
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Director: Dharan Mandrayar
Writer: Dharan Mandrayar and Darrell Hartsock
Producer: Linda Mandrayar
Cast: Sonali Kulkarni, Amardeep Jha, Shameem Sheikh, Amruta Subhash, Virendra Saxena, R.S. Shivaji, Amitabh Srivastava and Gaurav Kapoor

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