Friday, February 25, 2011

Rain Man

Let’s now go back to 1988 and Rain Man, directed by Barry Levinson, also responsible for Sleepers.


Abrasive and selfish, Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) discovers that his father, whith whom he had fallen out, has died and left $3 million to his elder son Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), a man with autism of whose existence Charlie was unaware of. Charlie literally kidnaps Raymond from his institution and the two of them embark on a road trip that is going to change them both.


I am not really a fan of Tom Cruise – getting tired of the Colgate smile, the “cute guy” look he has going on in every of his early movies: Top Gun, Cocktail, even Rain Man, he is always sure of himself, too aware that he is attractive, and in the end without really much substance. Here though it is moving to see him change as the movie goes by – from selfish and unpleasant (Dr. Bruner: You have to bring him back, Mr. Babbitt. Do you understand me? Charlie: Certainly. No problem. That will be $1.5 million please. I'll take it in cash, check, or a transfer) to a caring brother (Charlie:But it's not about the money anymore. You know, I just don't understand. Why didn't he tell me I had a brother? Why didn't anyone ever tell me that I had a brother? Because it'd have been nice to know him for more than just the past six days).



Hats off to Dustin Hoffman, who is so sweet in this film, credible, and loveable. A fun scene includes:


As you know by now I enjoy quotes, so a couple of favourites here:


Charlie: Ray, all airlines have crashed at one time or another, that doesn't mean that they are not safe.

Raymond: QANTAS. QANTAS never crashed.

Charlie: QANTAS?

Raymond: Never crashed.

Charlie: Oh that's gonna do me a lot of good because QANTAS doesn't fly to Los Angeles out of Cincinnati, you have to get to Melbourne! Melbourne, Australia in order to get the plane that flies to Los Angeles!


Sally Dibbs: Good Morning! Coffee?
Raymond: [
looks at her nametag] Sally Dibbs, Dibbs Sally. 461-0192.
Sally Dibbs: How did you know my phone number?
Charlie: How did you know that?
Raymond: You said read the telephone book last night. Dibbs Sally. 461-0192.
Charlie: He, uh, remembers things. Little things sometimes.


Charlie: Raymond! [Grabs tooth brush from him] When I say stop it, why don't you stop it? Why do you always have to act like an idiot? [Raymond begins to laugh]

Charlie: You think that's funny?

Raymond: Yeah funny Rain Man, funny teeth.

Charlie: What'd you say? Funny teeth? What?

Raymond: I didn't say funny teeth, funny Rain Man.

Charlie: You? You're the Rain Man?


And of course, we do find out Charlie was quite attached to his brother when he was a kid, up until Raymond was taken away, as his parents feared he would harm Charlie. So the Dad did love both sons, after all! Maybe that realization is what also causes Charlie to evolve.




Other than that, I loved the casino scene, although I was a bit worried at how this would turn out - for a moment I forgot what kind of movie I was watching. Not Casino :)


I don’t know, I enjoyed it, but mostly because of Dustin Hoffman’s performance, which was incredibly touching. Not liking Tom Cruise so much did not really help and at times I had difficulties being attentive. But watching how Raymond, in hiw own way, also warms up to Charlie, little by little and in spite of having his routine disrupted, was sweet.

There were some fun scenes, some emotional scenes, I liked the music, which I still have not been able to identify (help, please?). It was also part of a marathon weekend where I watched 5 films so maybe that did not help - I realize I likely did not give it the attention it deserved. 

And to finish with my very favourite:

Charlie: What are you writing?... What the fuck is this? "Serious Injury List"? Serious injury list? Are you fucking kidding me?
Raymond: Number eighteen in 1988, Charlie Babbitt squeezed and pulled and hurt my neck in 1988.

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