Rainbow parents guide

Rainbow Parent Guide

This isn't just a Euro-styled update of the traditional tale. It's a deeply weird film with a gritty aesthetic and loads of negative content.

Overall D

Netflix: In a modern retelling of The Wizard of Oz, a young woman in search of her mother finds unusual companions along the way.

Release date September 30, 2022

Violence D+
Sexual Content C
Profanity D
Substance Use D

Why is Rainbow rated TV-MA? The MPAA rated Rainbow TV-MA for language, smoking.

Run Time: 117 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Shutters bang in a rising windstorm as Dora (Dora Postigo) argues with her father (Hovik Keuchkerian) over the identity and whereabouts of her long-lost mother. Incensed that her protective father has lied to her for years, Dora grabs her dog, Toto, and heads off in the night to find her missing parent.

Rainbow is a clumsy modern adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. It follows the red-headed heroine as she travels towards Capital City, inadvertently stumbling across a death and being suspected of murder. She runs into her long-lost grandmother (Carmen Machi), a murderous elderly socialite (Carmen Maura), a neurologically challenged man chained in a junkyard (Ayax Pedrosa), a depressed middle-aged man (Luis Bermejo), and a young transgender adult (Wekafore Jibril). As this motley crew travels across Spain, they have a variety of adventures before Dora eventually uncovers the truth about her identity.

If you’re expecting a remake of the classic Wizard of Oz story with a contemporary feel, let me warn you - we’re not in Kansas anymore. This isn’t just a Euro-styled retelling of the familiar tale; it’s a deeply strange film with a gritty aesthetic and oodles of negative content.

Rainbow is not family friendly for multiple reasons, including an extended scene of hallucinogenic drug use, which is treated as a positive, enlightening experience. The movie is also surprisingly violent, featuring a gruesome scene where a dead man is shot in the head, with a fair bit of gore and blood splatter. There is also a brief flashback of a pregnant woman being punched in the abdomen and a couple of scenes of attempted or contemplated suicide. Sexual content recurs throughout the script with a manipulative lesbian relationship, a persecuted transgender character, and some experimental sexual behavior involving fondling a teenage girl’s breasts while she’s clothed. Throw in three dozen sexual expletives, including 16 sexual expletives, and there are plenty of disincentives for family viewing.

This production also disappoints for reasons beyond the negative content. The narrative sometimes makes illogical connections and not all main characters are well developed. The pacing is terrible with a soundtrack that slows down the story rather than energizing it. The biggest issue, though, comes from the attitudes that permeate the film. Dora routinely makes terrible decisions and acts on them impulsively. Her behavior is reckless and could easily result in tragedy. There’s also an emphasis on “making your own truth”. As one character tells Dora, “Everything is true. You choose which truth to live in.” This isn’t just moral or ethical relativism – it encourages characters to structure whatever “reality” they want. Dora, for once, makes a wise decision here, finally appreciating the importance of family, but this philosophy can easily lead to self-indulgence and delusion. The original film featured lyrics that went “And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.” In that story, the lyrics encouraged courage and discovery. But this movie’s encouragement to choose your own truth encourages people to live in a world of their own making – not one built on facing hard realities but on inventing comfortable ones. Frankly, that sounds like something of a nightmare for the rest of us.

Directed by Paco León. Starring Dora Postigo, Áyax Pedrosa, Wekaforé Jibril. Running time: 117 minutes. Theatrical release September 30, 2022. Updated

Watch the trailer for Rainbow

Rating & Content Info

Why is Rainbow rated TV-MA? Rainbow is rated TV-MA by the MPAA for language, smoking.

Violence: A woman kicks a dog. A woman encourages someone to commit a murder. There’s a brief image of what looks like a baby in a jar. A man dies on screen. A woman spits at someone. An angry woman throws and destroys things. A main character points a gun at her own head. A person shoots a dead body: there is blood splatter on the walls and his bloody head is seen. A man is on fire in a dream sequence. A man throws things at someone. A man is chained to junk. A man tries to drive off a cliff.. Men have a fight and one of them bites another. A woman punches and attacks a pregnant woman. There’s mention of abusive relationships. There is an attempted poisoning. A woman drowns.
Sexual Content:   A young woman’s nipples are visible through her t-shirt. A billboard shows two women kissing. A man is seen wearing only underwear. A young woman kisses an older man. Stoned adults strip down to their underwear and go swimming. A woman is seen in her bra. Blood drips on the floor as a woman begins to miscarry. A transgender character talks about wanting breasts and touches a woman’s chest with her permission.  A teenage girl kisses a man. Two women kiss. Illegitimacy is a plot point.
Profanity: There are over three dozen profanities in the script, including 16 sexual expletives and 15 scatological curses. There are also a half dozen terms of deity and a handful of minor profanities and some crude language. A homophobic slur is heard.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A man smokes cigarettes. A person reminisces about smoking as a child. A man sprays a drug he identifies as windshield cleaner in someone’s eyes: their eyes get bigger and their perceptions change. He encourages the other characters to inhale the drug and they all start hallucinating. A man drives while under the influence of the drug. An adult smokes a joint. People frequently drink alcohol in social situations. A character tells someone that he should take ketamine.

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Rainbow Parents' Guide

What does Dora learn about family? Why does she make the decisions she makes at the end of the movie?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

The classic movie version of The Wizard of Oz was released in 1939 and starred Judy Garland. A prequel movie Oz the Great and Powerful gives the back story to the wizard of Emerald City.

Another young woman has adventures in a fantastical world in Alice in Wonderland. There is the classic Disney animated version and a live action film starring Mia Wasikowska. The latter movie also has a sequel entitled Alice Through the Looking Glass.

Fantastical adventures occur in a Christmas context in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms in which Clara must uncover the reasons behind the troubles plaguing the magical lands.

In Moana, a young girl sets off on a quest across the Pacific Ocean to heal the ecological disaster plaguing her people. Raya and the Last Dragon features a courageous protagonist who travels across the neighboring realms to find the last surviving dragon who can defeat a deadly enemy and end a curse plaguing her people.