Rain Man is a unique film. No wonder after almost 32 years it still enjoys a huge popularity among film viewers. A fantastic story of two brothers is very touching and makes us imagine ourselves in the shoes of protagonists.
The film is based on the story of Kim Peek. When a child with a number of deviations related to brain activity was born in the most ordinary American family, doctors did not have special anticipations about him. Disproportionately large head, traumatic brain hernia, as well as the absence of a calloused body connecting both hemispheres of the brain, said that the baby for the rest of his days would remain disabled, and never reach special heights.
However, the parents decided not to give up their own child and risked taking up his upbringing, which eventually led to the phenomenon of Kim Peek, a man with an extraordinary memory, who inspired by his example millions of insecure people around the world. According to Kim’s father, he learned to read at 16 months, after which he almost did not part with books and magazines. After memorizing a total of 98 percent of the information received, Kim nevertheless failed to get into an ordinary school while continuing his studies at home.
The plot of the film introduces us to Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise), a young businessman, whose business is not going the best way. Trying all possible ways to make ends meet, the hero has special hopes for the legacy of his millionaire father. Just believing that he was worthy of a fortune capable of solving all his problems, Charlie was simply shocked by the news that his father’s money would go not to him, but to his brother, who had long been not seen. Not willing to put up with what is happening, Charlie decides to go to a meeting with Raymond Babbitt (Dustin Hoffman), who, as it turns out, lives in a specialized psychiatric hospital and never leaves its territory.
Arriving at the place and having a short consultation with the doctor, Charlie decides to get to know Ray closer, but the latter is in no hurry to show special signs of attention to his younger brother. The thing is that Ray from birth has autism and perceives the world around him, as well as people with a slightly different, cold and unresponsive side. At the same time, Ray has just phenomenal memory and is able in the mind to carry out simply incredible calculations, while such banal things as tying shoelaces and fastening a belt for him is something impossible. To prove this there is an incredible scene in the film where he is using his impressive mind to memorize cards and makes a fortune playing blackjack. Everyone is astonished and this is the scene which is one of the nicest in the film. It is surprising but actually people started doing the same when they were playing online blackjack for real money on the Internet. They basically understood it was illegal to do the same in casinos, but unlike Ray, they did not have notable results.
Charlie takes him from the hospital, in order to be able to capture at least half of the inheritance that is due to him, and the protagonists have to cross a great distance together and thus they are starting to know each other. And let the fact that two brothers do not look alike, and Ray probably will not change anything, Charlie himself will get a chance for changes, which should be used very carefully.
It is noteworthy that Barry Levinson, who was previously known mainly as a screenwriter of light comedy films and television programs, took over the director of Rain Man. Having tried his luck as a director of not so much known, but rather interesting Diner, Levinson later worked perfectly on the family detective Young Sherlock Holmes and managed to find common ground with Robin Williams on the set of Good Morning Vietnam However, all the experience gained in directing did not guarantee Levinson the dramatic fame that he so craved, and he needed to shoot something deeper and partly tragic, and therefore, when he was offered to direct Rain Man, he had no right to refuse, especially since one of the title roles here got Dustin Hoffman, with whom the director worked on Tootsie.
Thanks to this acquaintance, which grew into friendship, Levinson was able to feel confident and took up the job with special enthusiasm. Of course, without humor and relaxing tense situation moments here the things would have gone differently, and nevertheless Rain Man looks like a mature, serious film, which touches very complex ethical problems and shows us people with mental disabilities with all the other problems. We can not refuse them and pretend that they do not exist and this film shows what will happen if such a person suddenly finds himself out of his or her comfort zone and care for him will fall completely on your shoulders.
In this story a lot of complicated stories are raised, sometimes they are able to touch to the core of the soul, but it is necessary to gain courage and watch the film to the end, because together with the main characters we go through a long, complex, thorny path. This applies to the director, actors, and spectators, who have revealed in front of themselves completely unusual facets of human society. And I want to believe that the example shown by the creators in Rain Man and inspiration by the biography of Kim Peek, will be interesting and useful for more than one generation.
It is impossible to challenge the contribution of the writer and director in this extraordinary drama, and yet no less difficult task fell on the shoulders of the lead cast. It is difficult to doubt the efforts of the outstanding Dustin Hoffman, who, in fact, can play literally anyone at the highest level. Maybe the emotional component of Charlie Babbitt’s image is presented on screen in a rather shackled frame, and yet Hoffman has done an outstanding job and showed us Raymond with all the canons owed to the behavior of an autistic person. In turn, Tom Cruise got a simpler role, and yet it is much easier for the ordinary viewer to perceive the story through views on the life of Charlie, who gradually begins to understand what simple, but such important human values are. And that’s great.