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Netflix movie rainbow puts Spanish pop star Dora Postigo somewhere over the thing in the title, this being almost musically inspired, mirrored and/or heavily borrowed The Wizard of Oz. The film is a mixture of crazy rock musical type things like Pink Floyd: The Wall, magical realism fantasies, road trip sagas and surrealistic dramas. For director/co-writer Paco Leon (co-writing with Javier Gullon), it feels like a risky experiment – but maybe it’ll pay off.


The essentials: Sometimes everything comes together with Dora (Postigo). She walks the city and the music she hears unites the steps and movements and work of everyone around her. It’s her 16th birthday and to celebrate it she’s eating cake with her father who raised her alone since she was a child. They live in a lovely little cottage that looks like it could be swept away by a tornado if a storm hits – instead, Dora asks about her mother, whom she has never met, and ends up sad and disillusioned and angry at her father. and then walks away with her little dog, Toto, while a twister spins in the background. Her task: find her mother.

Fate, or whatever it may be, brings Dora into the company of Coco (Carmen Maura), an evil and abusive woman whose husband is the king of a fashion fortune, and her sister Maribel (Carmen Machi) – witch vibes from these two, certainly, except that Maribel claims to be Dora’s maternal grandmother. The old man dies and a gun goes off, or maybe not quite in that order, who knows, he was in a precarious state before the bullet was fired, and Coco quickly points to Dora as the killer. It is of course a lie. But Dora goes on the run anyway. She meets Muneco (Ayax Pedrosa) at a junkyard who is acting like a careless fool. He joins her. They meet Jose Luis (Luis Bermejo) on a cliff contemplating a fatal jump. He joins them. They meet Akin (Wekafore Jibril) at a party where he almost gets hit by his own brother for being openly queer. He joins them.

It’s only a matter of time before they’re all covered in washer fluid and see Michael Jackson flying through space on the back of a giant manta ray and following a yellow brick road to the capital, where Dora’s mother is said to live. It’s worth noting that Muneco makes a comment about his missing heart, that Jose Luis has a prosthetic leg, and that Akin eventually shows some serious big cat tendencies. There are sudden vocal outbursts here and there: “Lately, music has been doing something weird to me,” admits Dora. Meanwhile, Coco and Maribel are arguing. Coco reveals she’s pregnant, which is crazy because she’s 80 years old. Don’t worry, this will all come together somehow.

Which movies will it remind you of?: rainbow is The Wizard of Oz above Wild at heart with bits reminiscent of the cut-to-the-beat lining of baby driverthe queer and feminist flourishes of Pedro Almodovar and the mega-failure staged by Sia music.

Notable performance: Lots of thin characters here, but Jibril enjoys a standout moment in a quiet, understated moment with Postigo where he delivers the line…

Memorable dialogue: “You know what’s more powerful than fear? Curiosity.” – Similar

gender and skin: none.

Our opinion: hold on and rainbowFinally, the final act of offers an ah-HA moment where a couple of oddly disparate plot cogs snap into place. It’s better late than never, but still late. The film moves forward with a strange push-pull rhythm, where it keeps us at a distance with heavily symbolic surreality and draws us in with tender, vulnerable moments. It could work better with a more charismatic main character; The push-pull dynamic also applies to Dora, a mostly passive presence with whom many things just happen except when the plot needs a nudge forward, and she hits the gas, reminding us that she’s trying to win over her mother Find. Perhaps a more charismatic performance could have brought the film’s myriad tonal and visual elements together; Maybe it’s asking too much for a young talent starring in their first film — or maybe for anyone.

Still, the film does show bursts of genuine inspiration – at its best, it’s a colourful, multicultural celebration with dynamically driven music and fantasy sequences. And how ounce, it’s a coming-of-age story with some astute observations about youth and identity. In a pivotal moment, Dora learns from the “good witch” Maribel that learning to live with all the horrible things in the world is a way of growing up. This also includes recognizing that some questions you have cannot or will not be answered. This film calls for more than a few, for better or for worse. Its mysteries and oddities, its wonders and amazements display an openness to experience and experimentation that is admirable if not always functional.

Our appeal: rainbow offers enough compelling and creative pieces and parts to deserve a recommendation, even if they don’t quite fit together as a whole. So STREAM IT, but first, know what you’re getting into.

John Serba is a freelance writer and film critic based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Read more about his work at johnserbaatlarge.com.

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