Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rain Man (1988)

Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman star in this 80s drama. Cruise plays Charlie Babbitt, a selfish yuppie whose distant relationship with his now-deceased father leaves him unaware of his autistic savant brother Raymond (Hoffman).

More or less, he movie's premise is one heard time and time again: a selfish man finds himself in the company of a pseudo-enemy until the pair finally rubs off on one another and the selfish man learns the importance of thinking about others. Charlie only wants to "bond" with Raymond to get a part of his father's $3,000,000 estate, which was left to Raymond alone. Throughout the film, he uses his brother for his own gain. By the end of the film, though, Charlie does not even want to accept the $250,000 offering that Raymond's doctor offers him as a parting gift.

"Rain Man" is definitely a film that can stand the test of time. Though it's a drama, the integration of light-hearted humor (provided by Raymond) helps make "Rain Man" painless enough for any movie-goer to see. Hoffman does an amazing job portraying Raymond, and the movie is worth a watch simply for his performance alone.

The movie, however, did not strike me as quintessentially 80s. Raymond lives in an institution and Charlie's life revolves around his car business, leaving the mis-en-scene yearning for more Michael Jackson and less nature. The 80s are personified, though, in the form of Charlie Babbitt, with his yuppie values and "Wall Street"-like focus on selfishness and money.

I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone willing to be swept away by Raymond's touching personality and for anyone simply willing to watch a top-notch film.

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