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"Rain Man" directed by Barry Levinson was released in 1988.The story of this movie takes place in the United States (Cincinnati, Ohio) in 1988. Similar to John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men, the story of this movie is about friendship between two unequal men(one mentally challenged and the other, normal) that are on a journey and their friendship, but opposite to the story of the novel, the film has a happy ending.
One day, Charley, who is a successful business man, receives word that his father, a man with whom he had not spoken in years, had died back in Cincinnati, Ohio. He returns to his childhood home to take care of his father's property, only to find out that virtually all of his dad's three million dollars estate was left to an unnamed person in a 'trust'.
Charlie learns that the trust was for a person who lived in a home for the mentally disabled near his childhood house. While exploring this institution with his girlfriend, Susanna, Charlie discovers that the person to whom the trust was given is an autistic man named Raymond, who is Charlie's older brother. Charley had never known he had a brother, since his parents had never told him.
In his confusion, anger and greed, Charlie decides to take Raymond back with him. Raymond is probably not prepared to leave the institution he has lived in his entire life, but Charlie is determined to get what he thinks is his "fair share" of his father's estate. He decides to fight for legal possession of his new brother, as a way of being able to get to the three million dollars that his father had left for Raymond.
In their journey back to Los Angeles, Raymond nearly drives Charlie crazy with his autistic attitudes, but eventually, Raymond has a profound influence on Charlie, and thus Charlie eventually grows to love and accept his brother exactly as he is.
Part Two (Characterization)
Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise)
In my opinion, Charley is the main character of this movie, and the movie is about Charley, not about Raymond, because Charley is who changes.
At the beginning of the movie, Charley is hard, bitter, selfish, immature and shallow. He worships money and without paying attention to Raymond's condition, he attempts to get his brothers wealth. He kidnaps Raymond to take his wealth from him, but ironically, instead of money, he gains something more valuable.
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At the end of the movie, Charley becomes a totally different man. He thinks differently about the life; he realizes that having deep and pure friendships with people (no matter how they are) and loving them are more important than money. He no longer cares about the money.
Charley's role in this move is similar to George's character in Of Mice And Men, because he builds friendship with a mentally challenged person.
Both Charley and George get in lots of troubles, but they never give up their relations.
Raymond Babbitt (Dustin Hoffman)
Raymond's role in this movie is similar to Lennie's character in Of Mice And Men, because they are both autistic and have amazing abilities, but unlike Lennie, Raymond has an amazing ability in math skills and memorizing the phone book.
Raymond is the one whom changes Charley's life. He takes Charley back to his family; he makes him to change his feelings about their father. After his journey with Charley, he learns to joke, and for the first time in his life, he allows physical contact with another human being. His final two scenes with Charlie are touching. When faced with the prospect of leaving his younger brother, we can see his inner struggle. Yet he can't express his feelings.
Part Three (Technical Devices)
In this move, camera work plays a very important role. Since there are lots of emotional events in this story, camera work has to be able to transfer these emotions to the viewers. In fact this movie contains a rich camera work. The distance of camera, the angle and the way that camera moves toward the characters are significantly well done, because we can see all the changes that occur on face of each character. These make the movie to be more impressive and interesting.
The main music of this movie also plays an important role. Since it is calm and soft, it fits with the pictures of the movie perfectly. Specially, when two brothers dance together, hug and touch each other, music makes the movie to be completely effective. The main music of this movie is successful, because it contains both sadness and happiness, and since the theme of the movie carries both sadness and happiness, it makes the movie to be more interesting.
Since the movie released in 1988, its main music has become very popular, and people know that as "Rain Man".
Part Four (Literary Device)
The title of this move is very important, because it mentions about two literary devices, Irony, and Flashback Charlie used to say "Rain Man" to Raymond when he was little, because he couldn't pronounce Raymond. When Raymond tells Charley that (Charlie had forgotten it), he remembers it again and gets back to his childhood:
-"...Funny Rain Man, funny teeth."
-"What did you say? "
-"funny teeth ..."
-"why did you say funny teeth, funny Rain Man?"
-"Rain Man? I Said rain Man?"
-"Yeah, funny Rain Man...."
-"Was I trying to say Raymond, and it came out Rain Man?"
-"Yeah funny Rain Man... ."
-"Are you the Rain Man?"
This flashback is important, because it reminds Charley about his family and his brother, Raymond. At this point the movie is overwhelmingly impressive.
This is also an irony, because in fact, Raymond or Rain Man scares from the Rain, and when it is raining, he can not go out of the house.
One other irony is that at the beginning of the movie, Charley does not care about Raymond's feelings, and money is the only thing that he wants, but at the end of the movie he starts loving his brother, and he no longer thinks about the money.
Part Five (Emotional Response)
Since the theme of both "Rain Man" and Of Mice And Men are very similar to each other, both movie and novel has almost the same effect on their audience, but the most significant difference is that the story of the novel has a tragic ending, since Lennie is being killed, unlike the movie ends with happy and hopeful events.
I admit that the first time when I saw "Rain Man", I felt poignant and pathetic for the Raymond's character: a rare physical disability, no loving, no tearing, no any emotional affairs ever involving with his routine life, Specially, when his mental retardation is confronted with Charley's extremely cocky character. But after several reviews felt that everyone in his own way is equal happy or painful to us, equally before the God. We can only like or dislike them, but can never judge them and then show our cheap sympathy or worship or something like that. One should admire on how human nature is, and how the deficiencies of one can be the abilities of the others.
"Rain Man" is so fascinating, because it does not show us a weaker or a stronger man by its own judgment, and refused to supply those questions with sentimental but unrealistic answers, unlike a movie in which there is a miracle cure. At the end of the movie, we do not see a smart Raymond, or see a spiritually changed charley, and we just get in touched with our own heart, not be reluctantly driven by director. We can also see this method in Of Mice And Men, since John Steinbeck never judges about his characters, and never demonstrates his emotions about what happens for the George and Lennie.