Rain Man is one of a rare class of films where even people who haven’t seen it understand the story, could probably name the lead actor, and give a rough outline of how the plot plays out. Such has been the power and intrigue surrounding this film, that it has continued to stay relevant, decades after its 1988 release. Responsible for cementing Dustin Hoffman as a top tier A-lister, alongside another impressive performance from Tom Cruise, it was a film that broke boundaries in its day, and still remains highly thought of today.
The film was released to strong critical acclaim, winning 4 Oscars, including Best Actor for Dustin Hoffman, Best Director and Best Picture at the 1989 Academy Awards. Yet it’s not a challenging watch, and it’s something even modern audiences enjoy watching. So with all the hype and all the fuss, what do we make of Rain Man in the entertainment stakes?
The story starts by following Tom Cruise, who is engaged in the import and resale of luxury cars. His character, Charlie Babbitt runs into commercial problems, with his vehicles impounded by the authorities, and pressing financial commitments threatening to ruin his same business. His father, from who he has become estranged, dies, which sees Babbit and his partner travel to Ohio to settle his father’s estate.
It laters becomes apparent that his father has left his fortune to a mental institution, which is responsible for caring for Babbitt’s brother, Raymond. Charlie then attempts to gain custody of his brother from the institution, in order to capture the money for himself, much to the displeasure of his partner, who feels he’s taking advantage of his brother.
After finding himself in serious financial difficulties, and in recognising Raymond’s gift for numbers, Babbitt turns to Las Vegas to make up for the short fall. The two travel to Vegas to attempt to win the money Charlie needs to stay afloat. Meanwhile, the institution is vying to get Raymond back to his familiar surroundings, and the film involves a struggle between the Raymond’s relationship to the institution, his home for many years, and his now blossoming relationship with his brother Charlie.
Can Raymond pull it out of the bag for his brother, and help him avoid certain financial ruin? Will Charlie learn to appreciate his brother again, and become closer with him, after many years of living apart? The plot in Rain Man has all the potential to make for a warm, feel-good film, and when coupled with subtle humour running throughout, makes for a compelling watch – whether it’s for the first time, or the tenth.
Who Will Enjoy The Film
Anyone who enjoys watching critically acclaimed films probably has to see Rain Man. It was an absolutely iconic film of its generation, and benefits from several incredible performances, not least from Cruise and Hoffman. A deserved Oscar for an unbelievable portrayal, and a chance for Hoffman to show his true depth and grit as an actor. Often underrated, Cruise’s performance was also really good, and there are plenty of moments where you’re conscious you are watching something seriously impressive.
Gambling fans will also enjoy this from an entertainment perspective, with some impressive scenes at the casino. But there’s a lot more to this than meets the eye, so if you come for the casino action, you’ll definitely enjoy the rest of it anyway. Well received by critics and fans alike, it’s one of those films that will continue to be watched and enjoyed for years to come.
Rain Man comes highly recommended, and if you haven’t seen it, you should do so as soon as possible.