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Parents' Guide to

Parchís: The Documentary

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Rise and fall of Spanish tween band; some mature themes.

Movie NR 2019 106 minutes
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Parchís: The Documentary is an excellent Spanish take on the classic tale of the meteoric rise and inevitable fall of young entertainers. From the vantage point of decades after their early 1980s success, Parchís now comes off as a surreal mix of a tween Village People, Abba, The Partridge Family, and Jackson Five. Some of their songs (whether you want them to or not) manage to linger in one's head days after viewing the movie, and the song "La Batalla de Los Planetas" comes off as an attempt at David Bowie that ends up as Sun Ra-style space disco. The sense of "unreal reality" comes through not only in the music, but also in the members' memories of whirlwind stardom and not much adult supervision.

It's a thorough and comprehensive look at Parchís' heyday, and it's also yet another cautionary tale of music industry and management greed, resulting in the performers not getting paid as much as they should, considering the vast sales and popularity. And yet, unlike so many child stars who end up as pathetic parodies at best or killed by their personal demons at worst, the members of Parchís come across as relatively grounded and as awed by what happened in such a short time as anyone else. Reconciled after a tragic near-fatal car accident of one of the members, the band mates are downright likable. It's refreshing to see band members who have survived such overwhelming success and gone on to relatively settled adult lives.

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