I saw this film like years ago, and it stuck with me. At that time, it was like no other film I had seen. With itís simple atmosphere, clever script and powerful performances, Rain Man shines and gives out a warm and moving message that will stay with you forever, since, like Uleeís Gold, it deals with family relationships under extreme stress and the steps that they take to finally understand each other. After seeing it again it still reminded me and stayed with me, and I can clearly say, that itís one of the best films of its genre.The film is the story of Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise), an LA import car salesman whoís on the verge of going broke due to serious financial and legal problems. While barely going out on a trip to Palm Springs with his eccentric French girlfriend Susanna (Valeria Golino), he gets a call that his father has died, and is asked to attend the funeral, which is in Cincinnati, Ohio. After the funeral heís given his share on his fathers inheritance, and is given his rose bushes, and an old Buick convertible, which holds his dark and turbulent past that he had with his father, but the rest of the inheritance values, worth $3 million, goes into a trust, which he later finds out is given to a mental institution, and into a man who turns out is his autistic savant brother Raymond (Dustin Hoffman)! Dumbfounded and angered, Charlie ďkidnapsĒ his brother and heads down into a road trip with his brother down to LA to contest his trust and earn his $1.5 million that he rightfully deserves. Oh, and Susana leaves him, which leaves things now between the brotherly love. But Charlie doesnít expect that his relationship with Raymond will be a long tumultuous road towards finally understanding each other and caring for each other.
"One of the best road movies ever made."
The film deals interestingly with social issues, in the topic of how can a person react when all of a sudden he finds out that he has a brother, a brother that he never knew in all his life. The scriptís tackle on the subject never overdoes any part during the relationship between the newly found brothers, and takes its time to develop itís characters, up until the defining moment. The pace is somewhat slow at times, but itís rewarding, and also important, since thanks to this the film takes its time to develop itself. We also get an interesting example on how supposedly ďretardedĒ and ďinferiorĒ people can be as smarter than anyone else, thanks to the toothpick scene, the math scene and the most famous of all, the card counting scene. One has to admire on how human nature is, and how the deficiencies of one can be the abilities of the other. That was a great lesson to learn.
It also has its hilarious moments, I laughed all the time when Raymond just kept saying, and we have to go to K-Mart in Cincinnati. It may be a little rough, since the guy is living his own world, and normal people canít understand them. The films setting on the road is basically a metaphor as on the road to understanding, that is the relationship between Raymond and Charlie. So as they follow the road, they begin more and more to understand and care for each other, and thatís the key to this film. Itís also in another point, basically a family story; there have been other movies where they depict on how long lost relatives find each other again. Personally I believe this film does it better, since you get to see the entire adaptation process that Charlie has to do with Raymond, and how it progresses on and on, until Charlie starts to develop his brotherly love for Raymond. Barry Levinsonís directing was top notch, especially dealing with the countless emotion splashes that the film encounters, plus helping Dustin Hoffman put out one of his best performances in years. The guy is one of the best actors in the business, and his performance as the idiot savant Raymond is a must to all fans.
As we know, Hoffman rocked, Tom Cruise was also great as the selfish Charlie, and his acting and looks clicked with his character. The rest of the cast was also great; everything in this film was absolutely great. I loved it from the very minute I saw it.In the end, how could I not recommend that you see this film? Itís a classic, itís a great movie, and you woní be robbed of your time when you see it. Itíll leave a warm and great feeling in you when the film is ended and the end credits roll. SEE IT!!!!
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originally posted: 10/17/01 16:12:29