What Jesse said:
You should watch A Shine of Rainbows next. It’s a heart-warming film about a young boy whose life is unfair. It made me cry. It also has a young Jack Gleeson who shows that he’s more than just King Joffrey. Plus, Aiden Quinn has dreamy eyes.
As soon as I heard Jesse’s description of this film, I figured that I was going to hate it. I actually put off watching it for weeks because I just couldn’t bring myself to accept the level of torture I was sure it would turn out to be. But I knew it needed to be watched eventually so I finally gave in the other night.
And my fears were completely justified.
I suppose that there is an audience for this movie, but it definitely is not me.
To start with, the story is depressing in a sometimes-life-sucks kind of way and never really turns around, but doesn’t add anything new to the complaint either. Where most intentionally depressing movies have some kind of happy ending or an intellectual reason for not having one, this film only has a sort of “mitigated” ending. Life isn’t as bad as it was 30 minutes earlier, but it’s still not that good either. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally fine with movies that leave out the fairy-tale ending. But if you’re going to make a movie that illustrates why life isn’t always fair, it should at least have a captivating or thought-provoking message. The only message in A Shine of Rainbows is that some kids have difficult lives and they need to focus on whatever silver lining they can find – even if that silver lining has a massive black cloud rumbling in the middle of it. I can’t even really say that this movie is about sympathy for the main character because in the end his lot isn’t nearly as bad as some of the other children who are left behind at the orphanage in the opening scenes.
Even worse, there is nothing surprising in this movie. The entire plot plays out exactly the way you think it will – except in a few cases where the obvious development would have been more interesting than what actually happened.
To be fair, the acting is pretty good. John Bell is definitely believable as a mostly defeated orphan and Aiden Quinn is definitely believable as a reluctant adoptive father. I disagreed with Jesse’s assessment of King Joffrey though – he came across as exactly the same Jerk to me.
Overall, A Shine of Rainbows is precisely as I expected – tedious and predictable. It’s the kind of movie my mom would watch on a Sunday afternoon while folding the laundry – and she would walk away 20 minutes before the end to start making dinner.