Loneliness, a state we dread and wish it never strikes anyone. But it is also a place where the human mind is most active. As children, we often weave worlds that are highly contrast in nature. But do adults do the same? Gitanjali Rao with her 2006 short film Painted Rainbow gives voice to thousands of those who spend their lives in loneliness and especially to the mothers who have to make it their normal. Today on Koimoi recommends, I recommend you to watch this beautiful short film that captures the life of those who have been practising self-isolation, pandemic or not.
Director: Gitanjali Rao
Available On: YouTube
Gitanjali Rao’s Printed Rainbow explores the life of an old lady living in a monotone like a robot in a sequence. The breaker here is the time she indulges into her thoughts associated to the various pictures on matchboxes that she has been collecting for years.
In my recommendation of My Neighbor Totoro, I mentioned how animation is subconsciously associated to comedy in India. Some brave minds, like Rao are working in breaking that taboo and Printed Rainbow is a milestone in that. It is a human tendency to fill the void of something with something else and Gitanjali explores just that.
We meet an old lady stuck in her routine. Cut off from the world and only allowed to see as much as her window allows her to with the open eyes. To showcase that she is in a prisoner of her own mind, Rao writes a scene where the lady looks down from a high-rise and sees the buzzing road. While the world is crowded, her universe is empty. It does consist of a few people but they are only gazers of her doing the daily chores. A constant is her cat.
The windows close and the old lady sets out on a journey. Remember how Baua Singh in Zero makes up for his physical disabilities with his arrogant confidence? Printed Rainbow is on a similar track. What she cannot do due to her incapability in real life, she makes it up in the thoughts. What is interesting is the medium. She uses the matchboxes and the pictures on them to transfer herself to her dreamland. Raise your hand if the kid in you was reminded of the weight machines on railway station that gave you an actor and you thought the machine thinks you resemble him/her.
Later the old lady rides an elephant, sneaks into a palace, drives a truck and finally spends her life in isolation that she actually wants and deserves. Printed Rainbow is a homage to numerous women who have and had to spend their lives in isolation due to various reasons. While on that it does not alienate the men. Our granny also has a friend who leads a life like her. Rao also adds a disabled child who creates his universe as well.
The runtime is only 15 minutes but there is too much packed in her. Printed Rainbow is an onion which you peel layer by layer. How ironic is the fact that I talk about it while the world lives in isolation now. Watch this short and find your escape, if you already have share with us in the comments section below.
Watch Printed Rainbow right here:
PS: I would also recommend you to watch Gitanjali Rao’s Animated Tribute To Shaheen Bagh, also available on YouTube. Thank me later.