Both strikingly beautiful and audacious, Ketan Mehta's latest film charts the life of the great Indian artist Raja Ravi Varma, from his early days under the patronage of a King of Kerala, in the mid 1800s, moving on to British Bombay, where he makes his fortune. Here the genius gives birth to Indian modern art, helps inspire the independence movement and the dawning of Indian cinema with his depictions which bring to life the Hindu gods and goddesses. But first he must find his muse who comes in the lavish form of Sugandha. Varma's fascination for his model turns into a torrid, paint-smeared love affair, which is reflected in his art. The religious power brokers see his increasingly eroticized work as dangerous and Varma is dragged to the British courts to be tried for blasphemy.
Colours of Passion offers not only a spectacular insight into a turning point in Indian history, but also questions the freedom of the artist in contemporary society.