car dealer with major money problems and has only a girlfriend, Susanna. Because
having learned that except for a few rosebushes and a vintage 1949 Buick Roadmaster his
recently deceased father has left him, virtually all of his fortune goes to his autistic
brother Raymond (Dustin Hoffman). A brother he didn't even know he had, Charlie
decides to kidnap Raymond from the Cincinnati facility where he lives, take him to
California, and demand half the inheritance in exchange for his brother's return.
Raymond is a person with autism who has some very interesting traits and
behaviors that really must have been difficult for people to portray, being in the early
1980's. A time when the medical world really didn't know much about what autism was.
We mentioned in class just how far advances have gone in understanding the condition.
The things to focus on during the movie; communication skills, social skills and stereo
typical behaviors- really seem too easy to write about. Raymond does so many things
that could be described.
Now, Charlie isn't the greatest communicator himself; at least as far as listening
goes. He is used to talking people down, and if that doesn't do the trick, he starts to yell.
This, however, just doesn't work with Raymond, who lives in a world of his own, unable
to express emotion in any other way, falls into a nervous tic when feeling threatened. So
for the first time in his life, Charlie has to learn to accept another human being for what
he is, and work "with" his bewildering methods of communication rather than against
them. Raymond has a way of not saying anything when it comes to matters that Charlie
feels are important. He simply retreats into his mind, focusing on exactly what he
normally would be doing if Charlie hadn't taken him. Raymond's lack of...