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Review of Rain Man - Research Paper Example

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Summary
Rain Man Rain Man is a 1988 film directed by Barry Levinson. The film starred Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise and has garnered tremendous acclaim, including receiving an Academy Award for Best Picture. Today the film is recognized for its excellent narrative, acting and cinematography…
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Review of Rain Man

Download file to see previous pages... There are a number of critical perspectives on Rain Man that argue the film positively contributed to society’s understanding of autism and individuals with mental disabilities. In this context of understanding one considers Kim Peek, the inspiration for Dustin Hoffman’s character in the film. It’s understood that following the film Peek found a new degree of confidence and heightened sense of mission (Treffert). In these regards, Hoffman’s depiction of autism is interpreted as empowering and beneficial to social understandings. Another understanding is that as the film demonstrates Raymond’s significant emphasis on routine -- among other peculiarities -- it allows individuals greater insight and understanding for people with autism that exhibit similar character traits (Solomon). This is a perspective that was shared by the filmmakers, including writer Barry Morrow who cried during an award acceptance speech and noted how the film positively changed perspectives on autism (Perring). Although many argue that the film’s depiction of autism is unrealistic, converse perspectives contend that the film did not try to specifically depict one form of autism, but is instead a conglomeration of many disparate elements ("debatewise"). Ultimately, it’s clear the film shifted perspectives on autism in many positive ways. ...
Critics have noted that in addition to demonstrating new perspectives on autism, the film also demonstrated Raymond’s emotions and challenges socially relating to his brother (Giordano). It follows then that these emotions, which greatly contributed to the narrative, also allowed the audience to significantly identity with the Dustin Hoffman character. Through this identification the film was able to change perspectives and increase autism awareness, giving it significant social utility, and making it important. While there exists a great degree of positive views on the film’s depiction of autism, others argue that the film changed social perspectives in negative ways. One major perspective in this mode of investigation considers that Raymond -- Dustin Hoffman -- is depicted as better off in the mental asylum. It’s been argued that this depiction is harmful to individuals with autism as it glamorizes the asylum environment, subsequently restricting the freedom of people with autism (Solomon). Other criticisms of the film argue that rather that the film glamorized autism and shifted public perception such that a wave of self-diagnosis took hold that is actually harmful for individuals that are truly autistic ("debatewise"). While such arguments constitute perhaps the most scathing criticisms of the film, other have argued along less stringent lines. One such perspective contends that the film, while accurately portraying a savant, stilted public perception of autism (Lacob). In these regards, critics argue that the vast majority of individuals with autism lack such savant-like abilities, yet the film changed social perspectives to a belief that this is an element that is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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