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Rainbow review – flawed and convoluted

October 1, 2022

This Netflix Rainbow (2022) movie review contains no spoilers.

The Spanish Netflix movie Rainbow is labeled as a modern retelling of the L. Frank Braum classic, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Seen through a contemporary LGBTQ+ lens, the story follows Dora (played by Dora Postigo) and his cairn terrier, Toto. Dora is raised by a single parent, her father, Diego (Hovik Keuchkerian), who ordered a cake for her birthday. Thing is, Dora has always heard the whispers around town, including today while picking up this decadent chocolate cake. “She looks like her mother, but not her father,” they whisper. And when Dora asks her father about a memory she had as a child, the truth comes out. Dora can’t take it anymore and goes looking for her mother, Piral.

Our Dora leaves, encountering new and interesting characters. Although, without rhyme, reason, or even common sense, pay attention to why or how she enters various scenes. Dora meets three witches. One turns out to be his grandmother, Maribel (carmen machi), who had Piral, and Dora wants to know where to find her. Coco is there, Maribel’s lover and who is married to the richest man in the capital. He happens to be in a coma. Coco wants Maribel to unplug because apparently it’s love. Of course, she refuses.

It doesn’t matter, because the man dies, which excites everyone. However, when Coco pulls a gun on Maribel, with the reasons unclear, Dora tries to stop her. Coco, however, leaks heat and blows a hole in her dead husband’s head. It is a difficult situation because no one was informed of the death of the man a few minutes before. Now, to outsiders, it looks like they have murder on their hands. So Coco points the finger at Dora, and now she’s on the run.

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With a scenario of Enemy scribe Javier Gullón, I confess that I was enthusiastic about the prospects of Rainbow. There are dozens of pasted scenes that don’t make much sense, and the transitions make you think there must be something wrong with poor editing. For example, when Dora goes in search of her mother, there is no explanation why she ends up in a house full of witches. We also don’t know that his mother lived there. In fact, Diego even told Dora that he didn’t know how to find her.

The storyline also alternates, aiming to create sequences that can be real or dreamlike, similar to Wizard of Oz, but can never achieve this simple structured goal. This does not even allow the possibility for the viewer to leave the story to their own interpretation. The homage to the source material is evident when Dora meets Muneco (Ayax Pedrosa), a manic drug addict who portrays the Scarecrow.

Then there is Jose (Luis Bermejo), a man who has lost hope, wearing a gray suit, and traveling in a silver car, who is suicidal. Finally, there is Akin, a gay singer whom his family rejects because of his homosexuality. However, he is hardly a coward, and his strength is that of a lion. Does everything work? A little, but these themes of the LGBTQ+ community or mental health either resonate or pay off.

I’m sure director paco leon had big ambitions to turn a tale into modern social issues and turn it into a coming-of-age story with real weight. However, as the film continues, the narrative becomes one of the most misguided and convoluted films in recent memory. Rainbowplus a visually stunning scene of Michael Jackson riding a Falkor-sized parting in The never-ending storyLeón’s film is a huge disappointment.

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What do you think of the Netflix movie Rainbow (2022) and the ending? Comments below.

Further Reading

  • The end of the rainbow explained
  • Will there be a sequel to Rainbow?
  • Where was Rainbow filmed?

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