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Gasoline Rainbow (2024) — Movie Review

Bill Ross IV and Turner Ross, in their latest project, “Gasoline Rainbow,” offer a fresh and unscripted take on the traditional coming-of-age narrative. Pushing the boundaries of conventional storytelling, they opt for an organic method, enlisting a group of non-actors and immortalizing their spontaneous exploits. The authenticity of their approach is profound, evoking nostalgia and capturing the bittersweet edge of youth.

Five high-school seniors - Nathaly, Makai, Nichole, Tony, and Micah- serve as the backbone of the story. Their goal is to journey from their small town of Wiley, Oregon, some 513 miles inland, and satiate their longing for the sea. Embarking on an epic road trip, these young adults embody the raw spirit of Gen-Z, indulging in life's small pleasures and meeting unexpected characters along the way.

“Gasoline Rainbow” is a nod to the quintessential road film, where the adventure is as much external as it is introspective. The film subtly highlights the group’s diverse backgrounds and challenges, presenting a nuanced view of their lives back home. The narration is guided by a series of voiceovers that reveal personal stories of hardship and aspiration against the backdrop of the splendid American West.

Gasoline Rainbow (2024) — Movie Review

Yet, the film goes beyond being a mere narrative of individuals; it encapsulates the shared experiences of a generation, dealing with joy and adversity alike. The sublime direction by the Ross brothers offers vibrant 'postcard-like' imagery that beautifully portrays the expansiveness of the American landscapes and the full-on, devil-may-care attitude of the young travelers.

“Gasoline Rainbow” presents a rich, multi-cultural soundscape that adds depth to the story. A fusion of Biggie Smalls and Enya's music caters to the varied tastes of the characters, reinforcing the impression of a melting pot culture. The film’s true sense of authenticity stems from its real-life interactions and the genuine responses of the protagonists.

The real triumph of "Gasoline Rainbow" is that it resists defining Gen-Z through social stereotypes. Instead, it highlights the core aspect of youth: the ability to embark on a journey of discovery. It celebrates the courage to venture into the unknown, making it a meaningful and resonant chronicle of modern youth today.