Rain Man


10 Minutes to Wapner.

From Rain Man, 1988

Rain Man was released on December 16 1988 and it is an American drama that was written by Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass. The movie has won four Oscars. Some of its main characters are: Raymond Babbitt (Dustin Hoffman), Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) and Susanna (Valeria Golino).

Charlie Babbitt is a young man in is mid-twenties who works as a car dealer in Los Angeles. He is in the middle of importing four vehicles but the deal is being threatened by the United States Environmental Protection Agency whereby if Charlie is unable to meet their regulations, he will end up losing a lot of money. Charlie deceives an employee and heads to Palm Springs with his girlfriend Susanna for the weekend. His trip is cancelled when, at the last minute, he hears of his estranged father’s death. Charlie makes his way to Ohio where he intends to settle the estate and it is here that he learns of an anonymous beneficiary who is inheriting three million dollars and he will receive a car and some prize rose bushes. After some investigation, he learns that the money is being directed to a mental institution; where unbeknownst to him he has a brother called Raymond who has autism. Raymond has a fantastic memory but has little understanding of what is going on around him. He rarely shows emotion and avoids eye contact with anyone.

Charlie cannot believe that he has a brother and feels that he deserves more than he got so he takes Raymond back to Los Angeles with him to meet with lawyers. They travel by car as Raymond refuses to travel by airplane. Charlie’s intention is to get Raymond’s doctors to make a settlement out of court so that he can get half of the inheritance whilst enabling Raymond to stay on at the mental institution with the other half and that they can maintain custody of Raymond.

During the journey though, Charlie learns more about Raymond’s autism and thinks that it may be curable, which upsets Raymond. He comes to learn how they got separated; there was an accident when Raymond was left alone with Charlie when Charlie was just a baby. Raymond sings a Beatles classic like he used to when Charlie was little. When Charlie learns of Raymond’s superb skills at recalling things, he takes him to a casino to win money by counting the cards whilst playing blackjack. Despite this shallow and exploitative attitude, Charlie soon mellows and realizes that he actually loves his new-found brother and becomes very protective of him. When Charlie meets with his lawyer he suddenly has a change of heart and realizes that he cares more about his brother than he does the money and asks for custody of Raymond. However, Raymond is unable to come to a decision about what he wants and he returns home to Ohio. Charlie is delighted that he has gained a brother and he promises that he will visit Raymond within a couple of week’s time as he waves goodbye to him.

Rain Man a poignant movie written by Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass and directed by Barry Levinson was released in 1988 The film was produced by Mark Johnson in America on a budget of $ 25 million.. Music was provided by Hans Zimmer. It was reported that the gross revenue was in the vicinity of $173,000,000/-

The story centers round two brothers, Charlie Babbit a self centered businessman (acted by Tom Cruise) who has severed his connections with his father and the other brother, Raymond (acted by Dustin Hoffman) who is autistic. Charlie is not aware of the existence of his younger brother.

Charlie Babbit is a car dealer and is based in Los Angeles and has a girl friend Susana (acted by Golino). Raymond has autism but has a retentive memory and very little capability to understand anything. He believes in routines and abhors any change. He has the habit of constantly repeating the phrase ‘who’s on first’ which he and he alone understands, if at all. He is devoid of any emotion.

In the story, Charlie is in the middle of a car deal which is not going through well due to government interference but with some not so clean methods he manages it and leaves on a weekend trip with his girl friend but had to cancel it as he comes to know of his estranged father’s (Sanford Babbit) death and leaves for Ohio instead where he is in need of home security system services.

He is shocked to find out that he has been left with practically nothing but the chunk has been bequeathed to an unknown trust and the money to be spent on an unknown beneficiary. Charlie leaves no stone unturned to find out about these unknown entities and is led to a mental asylum where he discovers that beneficiary is none other than his brother Raymon whose existence he comes to know for the first time and in this entire movie the one sentence that he repeatedly utters is "Why didn't somebody tell me I had a brother?"

Being business minded and self centered Charlie is now bent upon getting his share of the inheritance by whatever means possible. He takes his brother Raymond on a cross country trip by road as Raymond refuses to fly and his constant interaction with his brother gets him closer to his brother and away from his craving for the inheritance that he felt was his even after studying state bar exams. They spend a lot of time together and during this period Charlie realizes that his dreams of curing his brother will be not fulfilled. He takes his brother Raymond back to the mental asylum and promises him that he will be back in two weeks.

Barry Morrow molded the character of Raymond after literally spending time with Kim Paak a real life American Sawant who was a true inspiration that created ‘Raymond’ in this movie.

Both Tom Cruise as Charlie Babbit and Dustin Hoffman as Raymond have more than justified their respective roles in this film.

The film won several Oscar awards at the 61st Academy Awards which was held in March 1989. And Dustin Hoffman got the best actor in a leading role.

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