Imagine only being able to see the world in shades of grey – that’s how everything appears to Choi Yeon Woo, the protagonist of the 2021 Korean mini-series ‘Color Rush’. Played by the handsome actor Yoo Jun, Yeon Woo is a ‘mono’ in the show, a label for people who suffer from a neurological colour blindness.
Adapted from a web novel of the same, viewers are explained that monos can see colors only when they come in contact with a certain someone, kind of like a soulmate, who are branded ‘probes’ in the series. So when a ‘mono’ meets a ‘probe’ for the first time, they experience a ‘colour rush’, an overwhelming onslaught of colors and life in all its shades. But when the probe is not around, they lose their ability to see colors again.
Directed by Park Sun Jae, ‘Colour Rush’ has just 8 episodes, some of which are just 16 minutes long. While the whole ‘Mono-Probe’ business sounds romantic, ‘Monos’ are portrayed as obsessive individuals in the series, who usually end up kidnapping/murdering their ‘probes’. So the hero Yeon Woo hopes that he never finds his ‘probe’, but fate has other plans. Woo meets his probe while still at school – an elusive student called ‘Go Yoo Han’ who is training to be a K-pop idol. The rest of the plot is about Woo trying to avoid Yoo Han & the heady ‘colour rush’ he gets when he’s around his ‘probe’; Go Yoo Han on his part tries hard to woo Woo. (Really wanted to write that)
The series felt slightly rushed and over-dramatic. Yeon Woo is a little too morose for a boy in his late teens & the character of Go Yoo Han doesn’t have any back-story, making him one-dimensional. Actor Heo Hyun Jun who plays Yoo Han wears a mask for most parts of the series and when he takes it off, he comes off as a smug siren. Also, the make-up team put a little more make-up than necessary on him. There’s no doubt that the lead pair is great too look at, but there’s very little chemistry between them. They don’t even come off as friends, just two strangers having one uncomfortable encounter after another. Forget potential lovers. However, there was one episode that’s shot creatively, where the two attend an art exhibition together & share some sweet moments. But that easy camaraderie fizzles out soon.
Mostly shot indoors, the screenplay is done quite well. The background score wasn’t very memorable, but blends just fine with the events. I quite liked the disco-kind of music that plays every-time Woo experiences a ‘colour rush’, it irked me a little when they changed it after a few episodes.
Since the story is quite interesting, ‘Colour Rush’ manages to hold the viewer’s interest and isn’t too bad for a one time watch. A major problem with the story was a sub-plot about Woo’s mom, who is a ‘mono’ too and goes missing. What really happened to her? We never find out. There is an interesting little twist towards the end of the climax, which felt slightly contrived. While it ends on a sweet note, it’s not as fun as some of its other Korean BL counterparts. I would give it a 6/10.