Thursday, July 2, 2009

"Rain Man" on a Rainy Day

We watched "Rain Man," starring Tom Cruise, today in class. For an overview of the movie, Tom, whose name is Charlie, is the owner of a car company. He had a rough relationship with his father and his mother past away before he was old enough to know her. He left home after an incident with his father's Buick and never returned to him. Unfortunately, his father past away and he finds out that all his father left him is the Buick and the rose patches. The $3 million he was hoping to receive was not given to him and thus, he goes in search for where all that money went. It leads him to a home for the mentally disabled. That is when he discovers that he have an autistic older brother, Raymond. Then the rest of the movie shows how Charlie kidnaps his brother Raymond in hopes of splitting their father's will but after struggling with his brother's condition, he begans to grow a deep connection to him. In the end, he did not care for the money. Instead, Charlie wanted to be the guardian of Raymond.

I really enjoyed watching this movie. Reading the book was a whole other thing. The movie helped to visualize what it is like to be around autistic people and it is definitely more interesting than the book. Just like my other post about autistic people being geniuses, I found out that it is not as common as I thought. In "Rain Man," Raymond had the ability to memorize everything he read or saw. Not only that but he was quick and speedy when it came to counting cards and doing mental math. However, there were times when something like a noise, or the water faucet, would trigger an outburst. Raymond also struggled to live normally since he was so use to having someone take care of him. Now the question is, "Is it better to sign an autistic person into a facility or emerge them into society?"

The movie brought about a very interesting topic about family unity and secrets. Charlie had a rough relationship with his father because of all these hidden secrets that his father would not tell him. He never knew his mother. Therefore when he grew found of Raymond, he wanted to be his guardian. He finally found a family member that he can relate to. Family unity is the strongest bond possible. What would I do if I was alienated by my family? What kind of life would I live? How will living alone feel like? Now, I am able to see the core value in a united family and my family. Family is a strong bond and is almost impossible to break.

Regarding the movie, I strongly recommend it. It is a truly compelling movie about the value of brotherhood.

As a side note, I cannot wait for tomorrow. I am anticipating the time when we are all set and ready to leave to New York for the day. I want to learn a lot about Columbia and the city in general.

Now I will take my leave and settle for the day.

1 comment:

Don Gosney said...


I’m glad you had an opportunity to see the other side of autism from what you were being told earlier.

I’m still not sure you clearly see, though, that integrating autistic people into society really isn’t much of an option.

Of course, there are milder forms of autism but cases such as Raymond’s are much more the norm. I’m sure you can see that for someone like Raymond, he NEVER would be able to exist outside of a facility designed to care for him.

Something I would hope they would touch on in this class, and you can confirm this for me, is why there has been such an increase in the number of reported cases of autism. Is autism becoming more prevalent or are we just seeing more cases that are actually diagnosed and reported as such?

I had an uncle who was mentally retarded but because there was something of a stigma attached to such conditions, as well as the lack of health care options at the time, he was never actually diagnosed as being mentally retarded. Statistically he was “normal”. Did this mean that he wasn’t mentally retarded just because the system had never diagnosed him? I suspect that may be a part of the reason why statistics may not have shown the percentage of autistic people such as we see today. It may have less to do with the actual numbers as it does with the numbers that are reported.

What do you think, Meuy?