Find the list here: The Top 250 Films List Total Films Watched: 250/250

Saturday, 16 February 2013

#238 - 'Rain Man' (1988)

"Definitely have to dance on my date. Have to learn how to dance. Definitely."
- Raymond Babbitt.
Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) is a selfish and arrogant car dealer who only has an interest in himself and money. After his father's death, Charlie is upset about only being left a car and some rosebushes in his will, while his father's $3million estate has been left in a trust fund for Raymond (Dustin Hoffman). Unbeknownst to Charlie, Raymond is his brother and has autism, living in an institution. Charlie tries to speak with Raymond about the money but he doesn't understand the concept of it. Charlie then takes Raymond away from the institution and they begin a journey together back to California. Not truly understanding his brother's condition, Charlie often loses his temper with him. Will Charlie be able to get his hands on half of his father's fortune by proving to a lawyer that he deserves it?
Charlie meets Raymond.
The main motif of this film is a very serious topic. Autism is a sensitive subject, one which must be dealt with properly with the appropriate care. Hoffman's performance as Raymond was staggeringly good. He was clearly putting everything into it and had got to know all about the condition he needed to convey. The deservedly Oscar winning performance was both sweet and sad. On the flip-side, Cruise's Charlie was loathsome throughout. His treatment of Raymond was despicable at times. The character development of Charlie was difficult to accept because of his unlikeability. His motives for change were purely selfish and money orientated, with little care for his brother. As the film goes on he inevitably gets closer to Raymond. But he doesn't really change, he is still mainly interested in getting his hands on the cash.
Raymond is distressed.
'Rain Man' is one of those films that I haven't seen before but have wanted to watch for a while. I didn't really know what to expect but I wasn't expecting a road-trip movie. I felt a bit uncomfortable watching the Vegas casino scenes. Charlie exploits Raymond's exceptional memory to count cards and win a lot of money. The scene where Charlie teaches Raymond to dance was the only redeeming feature of both the Vegas section of the film and the entirety of the character of Charlie. 
"You've got a date, Ray, you're gonna go dancing." 
A masterclass of acting from Hoffman is more than enough of a reason to watch this film. Cruise is also very good, portraying the arrogant and egotistical nature of his character with an overwhelmingly irritating and unnerving ease.

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