Rain Man Movie Plot and Analysis

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Movie Summary

The movie is an ordeal of two siblings, Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) and Raymond Babbitt (An autistic savant). Charlie works in Los Angeles as a car dealer, during his mid-twenties, and he is in the process of importing four gray Lamborghinis. However, he faces difficulties in meeting the requirements threatened by the EPA that he may lose the huge amount of money. Charlie plays tricks on an employee and then decides to leave with his girlfriend, Susanna to Palm Springs. The trip gets canceled after he learns of his father’s death. Charlie travels to Cincinnati, Ohio, his hometown and there he learns that his father left an undisclosed trustee a will of three million dollars, while all he was left were rose bushes and a classic Buick Roadmaster convertible. Later he learns that the money would get transferred to a mental institution, managed by his older brother, Babbitt (who he never knew). It then gets revealed that Charlie was once imprisoned for two days by his father after his father found out that his car was stolen and reported the matter to police. When the police found he and his friends stole the car, the father allowed the police to lock Charlie behind bars for two days before they released him. Raymond has autism, but he is a savant and is also gifted with a superb memory to recall, however, he has little understanding of the subject matter. Raymond fears change and strictly follows his routines. Raymond can also get seen as a person who avoids eye contact and shows little emotional expressions, except when he is stressed. Charlie was very bitter with his father’s decision on giving his brother such amount of money and he seeks to start a custody battle with his brother to get his share of his father’s estate. Therefore, Charlie decides to take Raymond on a long journey to Los Angeles using a car (because Raymond feared flying due to accidents associated with planes). It is during the tour that Charlie learns of Raymond’s autism, how they got separated and he finally realizes how much he loved him. Charlie learns that they got separated when he was about twenty months while Raymond was ten years old. During the trip, Charlie proved as exploitative and shallow when he used Raymond’s skills and precision memory to win money by counting cards at blackjack. The casino security could not believe that they won, even after making several tests on then. The security uses an attractive woman to know how Raymond and his brother were able to win, who reveals his abilities, and then the security asks Charlie to leave with his prize of about eighty thousand dollars. Charlie agrees and leaves with Raymond. Charlie realizes that the love and protection he has to his brother is pure. On reaching Los Angeles, Charlie meets Boros and his attorney to begin the case and later decides that he has no interest in the money and that he wanted his brother to get arrested. Complications arises and Charlie’s interest in the case diminishes, the doctor backs off, and Raymond is allowed go home to Cincinnati. Charlie accepts Raymond as his brother and promises Raymond that he will visit him after two weeks (Tuckman & Monetti, 2011).

Portrayal Analysis

The movie Rain Man (1988) is famous for its autistic character Raymond Babbitt (Dustin Hoffman). The movie story pictures the savant autistic people who exist in the real world. But while Huffman’s role in the film is known for the portrayal of the autistic persona, it is not certainly true. There is some impossibility in the film that would not relate to the real world.

In the film, Raymond Babbitt is regarded as a high functioning, responsible and savant persona who can communicate well with others without too many difficulties. Raymond is entitled to a will amounting to three million dollars by his father, and he lives under his care in Cincinnati. He is described as a savant, in that he has great abilities in card counting such that he can use his skills to win a huge sum of cash at the blackjack. Raymond has got high memory capacity, and he can remember his past while he was ten years old when he sang the song “I Saw Her Standing There,” originally sang by The Beatles. The portrayals of Raymond are extraordinary. There are possibilities that some autistic people have specific talents, abilities or extraordinary skills, but they are evidently not the ‘exclusive to the rule’. Perhaps, it is more precise to claim that an autistic person who tends to be of normal or above-average intelligence seems to have a normal or above normal intelligence. In some cases, they may possess certain skills (which are not supernormal like counting cards), rather than get termed as ‘low-functioning’ (the term seems to be both harsh and vague) (Baldwin, 2003).

According to my research, it should get noted that based on the special talents and abilities, not all autistic persons are equal.  Just as every extrovert has their special traits and abilities, so do autistics. Autistic persons have various abilities, skills, and interests, and that does not necessarily mean that they can all get categorized under the characteristics of ‘savant’ or ‘slow thinkers.’ Since there are the variety of autism, then there is just as much, if limited, range than among the ‘extrovert’ persons.

Some few somewhat more accurate portrayals of autistic features throughout the film, even though over-performed or exaggerated at times, were Raymond’s observance to routines and organization and his sensations. While order and habits are crucial in being able to foresee and make good judgment out of certain actions in the world, it is easier to realize why they would create an autistic comfort. Charlie’s impatient and judgmental response to his brother’s demands offers no illustration as to how one should deal with these situations. If anything Charlie’s outbursts humiliate the significance of Raymond’s particular routine making it appear even more awkward.

As Charlie understands to love his brother truly, Raymond to seems to have stimulated anddeveloped a lasting sensational connection with his reunited brother. While this finishing fits the conventional ‘happy ending’ where both of them learns something, and two people reunite, it should get noted that by Raymond developing a loving bond with the brother should not appear as him overpowering his autism. It is a relationship developed due to his autism- two brothers learning to accept and love just other just as they are.

Dr. Virginia Dixon got presented depicting a person with Asperser. In the film, she exhibits extremely orthodox ‘Autistic’ deeds, appearing with a total lack of emotion. It is even more ironical that with her ‘heartless’ character she is a world-popular heart surgeon. Dr. Dixon’s decisions are based on cost-benefit analysis, while putting off emotions and feelings out of the case. Not only does such emotionless and completely process-driven behavior push to create the negative idea of autistics, but they wrongly bring about illusions Autism (Holland, 2003).


Baldwin, C. (2003). Autism. Chicago, Ill: Heinemann Library. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1403402507

Holland, O. (2003). The dragons of autism: Autism as a source of wisdom. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.  Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1846423716

Tuckman, B. W., & Monetti, D. M. (2011). Educational psychology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0495500348

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