Rainbow Rishta★★★☆☆3/5Director:Jaydeep Sarkar, Hridaye A Nagpal, Shubhra ChatterjiCast:Trinetra Haldar, Aishwarya Ayushmaan, Daniella Mendonca
‘Rainbow Rishta’ comes as a breath of fresh air. At a time when the portrayal of queer relationships and dating is focused heavily on the negatives, this series offers a more balanced view.
The episodes explore the stories of three singles and three couples. ‘Made In Heaven’s’ Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju, doctor, actor and social media influencer, opens herself up to meeting new people. Aishwarya Ayushmaan, a human rights lawyer by day and drag queen by night, grapples with having to come out to their parents. Daniella Mendonca, a bubbly intersex woman and her fiancé, Joel, face some challenges while planning their wedding. The lesbian couple, Aneez Saikia and Sanam Choudhary, who have the support of the latter’s family, deal with the complications that arise out of house hunting. Gay couple Soham Sengupta and Suresh Ramdas, who have been together for six years, make one feel warm and fuzzy as they interact with Suresh’s niece and nephew. One of the most touching stories is of Sadam Hanjabam, an activist from Manipur, who struggles with trauma from a past relationship.
The series’ episodes are named ‘Vidroh’ (rebellion), ‘Badlaav’ (change), ‘Umeed’ (hope), ‘Faasle’ (distances), ‘Hausla’ (courage), and ‘Mohabbat Zindabad’ (love is the revolution). Watching the show, one can’t help but feel hopeful — for the couple who open up to therapy to fix their relationship, and when Ayushmaan’s friends cheer him to go on a date. But it’s not all ‘rainbows’ and roses. While Joel’s mother is supportive of their wedding, Suresh’s parents aren’t able to accept Soham.
The characters’ struggles like abandonment issues and bodyshaming are very relatable to viewers, queer or not. However, the series only scratches the surface of the issues that are faced by the community. The narration moves swiftly from one person to another, which doesn’t allow the viewer enough time to soak in the heavier moments. Some serious revelations could have been explored further. For instance, audiences would have been interested to learn more about Daniella being given up by her parents when she was a child. The storytelling is predictable.
Shot a while ago, the series ends with a note that says despite exchanging vows Daniella and Joel’s marriage still awaits a legal sanction.
This brings us back to the present — the stark reality of same-sex marriages being illegal.
(Published 11 November 2023, 00:56 IST)