Friday, April 27, 2012

Beyond the Black Rainbow


  First off, let me say that I didn't actually catch about... 80% or so of the plot, because I couldn’t hear most of the dialog. The why-fors and what-nots as to why I couldn’t hear it, is largely irrelevant because unless you’re watching a DVD screener rip of this in the middle of the night in a place with lots of light sleepers and thin walls, you shouldn’t have the same problem. Anyways, from what I gathered, it’s about a young woman named Elena, who’s being experimented on in a quasi-futuristic commune called The Arboria Institute and her subsequent journey, trying to escape it. It’s… quite the trip.

  The acting is great all around. The villainous Doctor Barry Nyle (I’m assuming he’s a doctor of sorts. They weren’t entirely clear on that. Or maybe I just didn’t catch it) has quite the presence here. His performance brings to mind some early David Warner stuff. Only with the brooding dial cranked up a notch. When Warner spoke, it gave you chills. When this guy speaks, it’s not as powerful, so the lines have to be written in a certain way. I think they pulled off his character wonderfully though.  He’s creepy as all hell and a real on screen presence.

  Secondly is the actress who played Elena. She is really only required to display two or three emotions, but that’s not a weakness in the script. Her character is trapped and rather hopeless, so there’s a lot of despair. But you also can see she has telepathic powers, so there’s a big underlying strength that’s there too. And there’s more you know, but the actress really does pull it off very convincingly and with hardly ANY dialog. Maybe ONE line? The entire film? Again, this isn’t an issue. It just sells her character that much more.

  I’ve browsed through online forums and boards that discuss the plot and story in great detail, and I’m not sure I’ve actually missed much. The movie is spread thin, and although it’s bursting with plot, there’s very little discernible story. Everything is open to interpretation like a really rich dream. Its takes you weird places and shows you fantastic sights, there’s a story to it… but it’s almost impenetrable. Like if you look hard enough, it all falls apart. I’m not saying ‘Rainbow’s story is weak. I’m saying it’s aloof from conventional storytelling. It literally feels like a dream. Not a nightmare, but a really strange dream with drug trippish visuals.

  I suppose that’s its selling point. Its visuals. There is a lot to see and take in. In this movie, you’re shown some insane looking stuff, some cool looking stuff, and then stuff that’s on the fringe edge of sci-fi concepts and designs. From that standpoint? I absolutely LOVED this movie. It’s a trippy visual feast for the eyes, and its dream fodder for the imagination. The imagery in this movie will stick with you for a long time. The music as well, it has a very 80’s electro synth vibe to it. It fits so well with the future-retro style and tone that it’s nigh impossible not to completely love it as well. It compliments the visuals and imagery insanely well. They’re inseparable.

  And I suppose in the end, the drastic shifts in tone, the glacial pacing, the retro-ish tone, the outstandingly weird visuals, and the sparse dialog is what cements the dreamlike feeling. If you’re looking for something vague and creepy, this is where it’s at. It’s a colorful and expertly constructed art-house exercise in… pure weird. If you can’t love it for that, you won’t even like it. At first, I was largely on the fence. But once I embraced the dream-like perspective my whole opinion just… shifted. I’m a fan. Can’t find much else to say about it, but I seriously can’t wait to see it again.

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