In 1988, "Tom Cruise" (The Last Samurai, Mission Impossible) plays Charlie Babbitt, a man who after learning of his estranged father's death is shocked and feels betrayed to be only left his dad's car and rose bushes but to also learn that the multi-million dollar estate has been left to the other son and Charlie's older brother, Raymond Babbitt "Dustin Hoffman" (Mister Magorium's Wonder Emporium, Meet The Fockers) whom Charlie never knew existed. Now Charlie will use his brother as a bargaining chip and try to gain custody over his savant autistic brother and the money, but it won't be easy let alone easy to understand, learn and even cope with just how different Raymond really is.
This road trip film full of drama hits the spot because it's the story about 2 completely different people/ brothers who gradually begin to understand one another over a short period of time. But Charlie doesn't have the patience and time to give in to Raymond's conditions and strict routines which are jeopardising Charlie's plans. It's funny how Charlie's motives are selfish and cold yet Raymond just lives in his own world and Charlie must stressfully adjust to Raymond's way of life. Even I have routines and plans everyday of my life and I plan them out as I go along, but I've begun to see in myself that when they don't go according to plan that I am stressed, confused and sometimes out of my comfort zone, but I am better than I was sveral years ago when I only stuck to my way of things instead of adjusting to this surprise or issue with what's going on right now. I just need a bit of time to cope and understand how to make this work, I can't just shake it off and fit into this new situation so easily and it matters on what it is and where I am.
Throughout my life I've felt 50-50 on my condition and I've been in a struggle knowing if being this way is right or wrong. Sure, it could be worse and I wouldn't be the way I am today. But then there are others who have "heavier" conditions than myself in the world and I should consider myself "lucky" (but not in an obnoxious way). You see, I can't say that I am relieved or glad that I don't have a condition that's as high on the autistic spectrum as others in the world may have right now. Some would call any sort of special needs as "severe" or "retarded" but that's because they're not looking hard enough and only see us as people who came into the world as a dysfunctional being, we can only just talk, think, act and perform either better or less than the average person and it all matters on where we are on the spectrum.
But you know somehow I do feel better that Raymond did make silent connections and proves that people like him with any form of Autism really can communicate in a subtle unique way, we all just have to find this wavelength and we need to discover it ourselves too.
Seeing Tom Cruise snap when Raymond refuses to use public transport and airplanes because he knows of crash dates or fears for his own safety and also when he's being annoying and silly for Charlie makes me wonder and truly admire how as an actor he could cope with this kind of behaviour (even I would be frustrated). Seeing how an ordinary man like Dustin Hoffman mimic so accurately the behavior and "robotic" lifestyle of a savant was really intersting. I wonder whether when filiming if they were testing each other's patience on the situation. It may even just be acting to them or another job, but do you think they took anything away from it? Perhaps they did and good on them if they did because it's learning at the end of the day, right?!
Even I am curious as to what other people in situations do when failing to understand/ cope with people's behavior because they aren't even trying or doing their best but it's becoming too much for them (it could even be the other way round). As I write this up, I'm starting to recall some situations in my life where I have been strict on routines and been getting my way because of my condition and high level of Aspergers and looking at me now as to how I have slightly (even if I don't see it) eased away from the strict level of my actions and warm up to venturing out of my comfort zone, be a little impulsive and try to do things that I don't particularly like, this is all a big change for me even if it happens every so often.
Did you know that this film was actually based on a real-life person who is an american savant - "Laurence Kim Peek" and his father "Fran" who actually spent his life looking after his son and helping him with actions that were difficult for Kim. And also the screenwriter and story person Barry Morrow and Dustin actually went to see Kim and try to base Dustin's character off of him accurately and methodically, only difference is that Dustin's character had autism whilst Kim had FG Syndrome (a condition with symptoms such as retardation, hypotonia (low muscle tone) and sometimes macrocephaly (an abnormally large head). And it's nice reading up that after the film, Kim was given the Barry's oscar and was very surprised and happy that people wanted to see him in action and answer questions about calendar calculations by telling them on which day of the week they were born and it boosted his self-confidence, aww. He even went on television with his dad. R.I.P Kim! The world is now aware of special and unique people like you.
The music was alright (sounded just like the 80s) thanks to the electric keyboard and drums in the background. It was quite ambient like which was nice but I don't think I really payed attention at all to it.
Learning the hidden meaning behind the name "Rain Man" was a true discovery which really caught Charlie and also made Raymond happy as Charlie finds out. It's quite insightful when something that seems weird or something actually has a special hidden meaning and may be special to someone and meaningless to others, right? But unfortunately what came next brought back the sad reason why Raymond was hospitalised and also made Raymond flip out and have a sudden anxiety/ panic attack as if he was re-living the memory where he screwed up big time and he didn't mean to.
When I saw how badly Raymond was screaming, I actually wondered myself if I have had an episode like this before. I think besides some painful first times like my first day at secondary school where I was so terrified of being in a room with other strangers and it was a whole new era and beginning which required me to have a learning support woman named Karen Davidson to watch over me from then on for a while (whoops I went off topic). I think I have been quite uncomfortable many times in life but I haven't panicked out like Raymond... except the day I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. Let's just say I have an awful and unforgettable reaction to the anaesthetics when I was 4, but that's another story!
Seeing Raymond's gift with numbers and calculations shows that because he is different doesn't make him an idiot, if anything he's far from one because of his incredible knowledge that even he doesn't know how to use it, it just comes to him like being asked a question and your answers are second nature. Charlie took advantage of that by going to Vegas to count cards, you know in the film The Hangover well that entire scene was actually based off of this film and had a more comedy parody to it especially when Bradley Cooper was swearing at the camera for fun, lad.
I've mentioned several times about my memory ability like Raymond. Mine is more of a recollection or being able to remember things that I've enjoyed compared to the troublesome issues with remembering things that I struggled with like School/ College work because sometimes I had no interest to learn it or try to. Even my main man, Lewis has often called and mentioned my similarity to Rain Man and also showed me the film, I'm happy and pleased that he saw that in me in my relation to memory skills. And I'm pleased that with my impersonation skills that I can be fun for people or children by mimicking the voices of Disney characters, the minions and for adults and teens, I like doing all Batman (The Dark Knight Trilogy) villains, almost every Family Guy character and some other characters from my memory.
But learning when to talk about things that are in my head or speaking in my voices is what I'm learning to control because I fear that people are either too afraid or too polite to tell me to shut up when I'm over-excited or don't know when to stop and I fear that's the reason people abandoned me or I come across as socially awkward or like a sore thumb in a way. Even today, I apologised to 2 mates at work after going on about some things that I recalled several times in the day/ week and they got tired of me repeating myself but when I apologised they told me not to say sorry. Because I shouldn't need to apologise for being myself, it's just hard to cope/ understand me and I agree as I am trying to learn to "love myself before I can love anybody else" (what Lewis has told me several times) and to follow Eminem's advice "to not give a f**k about what others think and just be yourself", but what if being myself is fun and chaotic for others and myself depending on how we are that day. But it can't be that bad, cause I'm still friends with many people who love/ care about me and have put up with me to this day, so that's something.
When I saw the ending the first time, I cried because it was heartbreaking to see the reality on what was best to do. But there's a heartwarming moment too when two men gently place their heads against each other to show the sign of confirmation and understanding in it's own special way. I have to acknowledge the ending and know it does end on good terms and in an epiphany way for Charlie and Raymond. When it was over, I was that upset that I needed a big hug from Mum as I was sobbing a little. Even Rebecca was upset when I showed her the film several months ago. Don't let my sadness stop you watching it (it's like The Land Before Time) it's happy after all.
Before I end this story, I wanna share some good news that's been starting to happen for me. First of all, I actually reached 10km on my 25th Jog last Saturday. What an Achievement?! This is now proving to myself that I will conquer the Tough Mudder with my bros and I should believe in myself more. I'd better write up a post soon to help promote it, if anyone's willing to make a small donation to Help For Heroes that would be great.
Plus now that Stock Change is almost over at work, me and almost everyone in the team are going out for a meal this Friday evening and it's gonna be good. And I'm pretty sure that next weekend, I'll be venturing back up to Manchester to see Lewis and all his flat mates for the last time since my first time there back in November 2013 and this year's it's all their last year. So gotta make the most out of the weekend with them all and I aim to keep in touch with them all and somehow maybe see them again during my life. Plus this week, I'm purchasing my 1st bike from work!
I've also been wondering and thinking up some super special and private stories to share with you all on here, like my school lives and how I've evolved over those years of education and mention my diagnosis day (most likely once I reach 10,000 total views as a celebration and awareness post) and maybe even mention something that ties to me personally but somehow it's weird and silly, but once it's up it'll make me feel more at peace with it but not change the facts because I've grown up with it this way. Oh and a few Anime reviews are still to come when I have the time.
Hope your all doing awesome and cheers for taking a look at this serious and fascinating post, there's still more to come!