I’m not usually deeply affected by movies….well, lately, but this new film “The Rainbow Kid” which is at TIFF, just blew me away completely. It’s topic is a bit off-putting, seemingly. It’s about a plucky kid with Down’s Syndrome and the actor Dylan Harmon, really does have Down’s Syndrome. But he’s a very good actor, and his affecting journey to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is a heart-breaker.
It’s an amazing first feature by young Canadian film-maker Kire Paputts. (That’s pronounced Kir-RAY). I first encountered him at the now essential Eye on TIFF that Telefilm Canada holds every year in New(and now, also in LA) for about a dozen or so Canadian cinematic new-comers. Although veteran Patricia Rozema (“I Can Hear the Mermaids Singing”) was also there.
And I met Kire and he sent me a link pre-TIFF, when I’m not as crazy/busy as I am at TIFF, where time, every minute, every moment is precious.
Anyway, back to “Rainbow Kid” it’s difficult subject matter is challenging to say the least, but Dylan Harmon, is incredibly charismatic and engaging. And director Paputts really brings you inside Dylan’s character’s head and keeps you there for the entire length of the film.
To say that this film re-creates a genre, i.e., the disease film, is an understatement and is not fair to the great achievement of film and heart that “The Rainbow Kid” is. I can’t praise it highly enough.
Inspired by a children’s cartoon book that he is reading at the beginning of the film which I think was called “Meatball and Raindrop”, Dylan is convinced beyond a doubt that there is truly a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And after tragic events force him on this heart-breaking solo road trip through the wilds of southern Ontario to find that pot of gold, because he sees rainbows every where. And he wants to be as he puts it “Independent” and feels that the police are following him and are about to lock him up somewhere at any moment. And they are.
I hope it gets distribution in the States and everyone can see what a beautiful film it is. It’s a great achievement by Kire Paputts, who is definitely a director to watch.