REVIEW: There Is Nothing Over The Rainbow in ‘Rainbow’

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Rainbow - But Why Tho

Rainbow is a Spanish-language Netflix Original directed by Paco León and inspired by The Wizard of Oz where Dora (Dora Postigo) runs away from home and gets tangled up in a cruel woman’s scheme to frame her for murdering her husband who was already dead anyway, all while trying to find her mother she has never known. Also, she’s got some weird thing going on where when she hears music the world starts moving to its beat. Then she meets a bunch of strange bedfellows along the way. Oh and the movie is supposedly some kind of queering of a classic tale. I has several other superfluous plotlines and characters that are each offensive in some way or another. It’s a lot, and most of it is bad.

Rainbow starts out like any other teenage coming-of-age story, I suppose. Dora is dissatisfied with her life at home and the lies she knows adorn it, so she runs off. It starts off with a pretty cool musical number where paint goes flying across the screen randomly to the beat while the opening credits roll. The movie isn’t a musical, but it incorporates music throughout because of Dora’s aforementioned weird music thing. Of course, nothing as cool as the paint ever happens again, only bizarre and bad CGI if anything, but mostly just mediocre dancing.

It’s all downhill from there. The Scarecrow Muñeco (Ayax Pedrosa), Tin Man José Luis (Luis Bermejo), and Cowardly Lion Akin (Wekaforé Jibril) are all fine enough in their own right and have their brief moments, but they’re all ultimately flat stereotypes of what it looks like to lack brains, heart, and bravery. Muñeco is sweet but clearly not all there cognitively, José Luis is suicidal and depressed, and I don’t even really know what Akin’s deal is meant to be. He runs from commitment? He runs from the police? He’s gay and doesn’t stand up for himself against his brother? It’s just all so trite and so surface level and not a one of them earns their gifts from the proverbial Wizard at any point.

Worse yet, two of the three of them are completely soured by what feels like the sexual exploitation of Dora on the director’s behalf involving them both at different points. Dora just randomly kisses José Luis when they first meet and when Dora and Akin share a hotel room, he feels her up and they kiss more than once “just to see what it’s like.” It serves no purpose in the plot or in their characters whatsoever. She only turned 16 (the age of consent in Spain) a few days ago, José Luis looks like he could be her grandfather, and there are a number of moments that attempt to imply that Dora is probably queer too, so it all just simply comes off as gross and like some kind of fantasy fulfillment on the creators’ behalves when it serves no true purpose in the movie.

The discomfort continues when another entirely superfluous plot unfolds where the 80-year-old villain of the movie Coco (Carmen Maura) reveals she has used some outlandish science to become pregnant only to later miscarry and then never make reference to the two-scene saga again. It’s not that either of these parts of the movie have no place in movies generally, they just don’t seem to have any place in this one. They’re forgotten about instantly and do nothing to service the characters’ development, let alone be plot devices, which ends up making them feel exploitative and unpleasant.

Beyond that, Rainbow is just bland. It randomly throws in queer imagery but it’s all for show with no substance, or, worse yet, made into an excuse for behavior. Its colorful and punk marketing ceases to exist after the first 5 minutes until the final 5. Nobody really learns any lessons, the futuristic Chinatown is stereotypical, the villains don’t pose any real threat or have any real motivations, and none of the side characters the crew meets along the way do anything interesting whatsoever. Every stop on the path is forgettable, except for the weird CGI moments, and that’s only because it looks bad.

Rainbow is streaming now on Netflix.


Rainbow
  • 4/10
    Rating - 4/10
4/10

TL;DR

Rainbow is just bland. It randomly throws in queer imagery but it’s all for show with no substance, or, worse yet, made into an excuse for behavior. Its colorful and punk marketing ceases to exist after the first 5 minutes until the final 5. Nobody really learns any lessons, the futuristic Chinatown is stereotypical, the villains don’t pose any real threat or have any real motivations, and none of the side characters the crew meets along the way do anything interesting whatsoever. Every stop on the path is forgettable, except for the weird CGI moments, and that’s only because it looks bad.

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