The Rain Man was a prophetic film

The Rain Man was a prophetic film

Talking about a film like the Rain Man means going back to an era in which cinema, in those 90s, knew how to combine a civil vocation with narrative power, something that has been largely lost today. Francis Ford Coppola 25 years ago offered us the best representation of the concept of injustice, not only in American society, but certainly above all in it. He did it drawing inspiration from one of the best books by John Grisham (author of the Devil's Advocate, among other things), one of the best-known authors of all time especially as regards legal drama, but often undervalued on the big screen . And in times like ours, in which social injustice reigns, in which the rights of the weakest, the marginalized and the neediest are increasingly neglected and an increasingly terrifying classism emerges, this film is incredible for its topicality, for the ability to make us indignant and at the same time to give us hope.

An extraordinary example of civilized cinema

The Rain Man starred the recent graduate Rudy Baylor ( Matt Damon ) who was anxious to become a prince of the forum clashed with a professional reality that was to say the least murky, which made a clean sweep of all the ideals with which he had entered this world.

Initially hired by the questionable study of the murky Bruiser Stone (Mickey Rourke), Baylor would later start his own studio with the cunning and unpredictable Deck Shifflet (Danny De Vito). Together they will take to heart the case of Donny Ray Black ( Johnny Whitworth ) terminally ill with leukemia to whom the Great Benefit insurance company has denied the necessary indemnity .

Defending the colossus is the fearsome and slimy lawyer Leo Drummund (Jon Voight), who will use every possible expedient to win. Meanwhile, Rudy will also take to heart the case of the young Kelly Riker (Claire Danes), a girl who is the victim of constant beatings by her sadistic and violent husband. In short, for the young lawyer grappling with fears, hesitations and above all a much more powerful opponent, a fight with no holds barred will begin, inside but also outside the courtrooms.

Bowling for Columbine is still current after twenty years In 2002 Michael Moore presented a film at Cannes that remains unsurpassed in telling us about the virus of violence in American society.

Unlike many other films based on Grisham's novels, The Rain Man amazed critics right from the start for the perfect balance between the different components of the screenplay, naturally always handled by Coppola. The narrative and the characters avoided taking each other's space away, to make us part of a drama that was both private and universal. You don't need to have seen the beautiful Sicko by Michael Moore or the shocking series Dopesick with Michael Keaton, to know that even today Despite several attempts, the relationship between healthcare and society in the United States is very difficult. The priority is far from being the health of citizens, many of whom cannot afford treatments that in other Western countries are within everyone's reach. Despite attempts at reform such as Obamacare, there is nothing comparable to national health coverage, and the different insurance companies often act in an absolutely unscrupulous and ruthless way, as demonstrated by the numerous cases of fraud and scandals that have emerged in recent years. decades.

In the end, the reality is always the same: only money counts, only profit, in a society where success comes before anything else, a theory that in those 90s, an attempt was made to refute the famous Third Way, longing for a sort of perfect balance between the various components of society. Probably no film of that period in America was so deeply connected to a desire for social justice, for equality.

The real paradox? A quarter of a century later, the problems addressed by this film have become even more topical even outside the United States, given that the concept that it is necessary to privatize transport and healthcare has been accepted, indeed it has become a diktat.

We ourselves, over the years, have become accustomed to the idea that when we really need something urgent, we have to pay a lot, given that waiting for the times that have been imposed on public health year after year essentially means putting risk your own health.

A lawyer fighting against a ruthless system

Matt Damon was already indicated as one of the promises of American cinema, but it was thanks to the Rain Man that he was launched towards the firmament, which would later turn out to be mostly Good Will Hunting and Saving Private Ryan. Yet, net of the great successes he has reaped in his career, of the many characters to whom he has given his acting at once under the lines and visceral, this idealistic, empathetic and determined young lawyer is one of his most successful, of the most memorable. Rudy Baylor, like basically every character in the film, represents not only a certain way of dealing with life, but also a specific part of American society. In him Coppola paid homage to the spirit of the middle class, the backbone of Western civilization, on which the rise or fall of a modern community almost always depends. Rudy is tolerant, ambitious but without being blinded by the myth of success, he believes in hard work and apprenticeship. However, little by little he perfectly understands who and what he is fighting against, and in him some very interesting doubts emerge about the system in which he works, its rules and its effectiveness.

Family lawyers: the 5 best lawyers of the series Gallery 5 Pictures of Lorenza Negri

Look at the gallery

As a lawyer, Rudy proves day after day more and more able and cunning, but never, unlike his opponent Drummund, breaks the rules, but rather by bending them, pushing himself to the limit but never beyond. Coppola however in him more than a symbol of perfection, he decided to show an ordinary man, determined to do his best for his neighbor without being a saint, but on the contrary full of very human defects which however made him even more powerful for this. The aforementioned Drummond, moved by a Mephistophelean Jon Voight, by the protagonist's own admission, rather than an enemy or an adversary, represents a possible future that awaits him, when he decides to be totally aligned with the system and its materialistic values And it should be clarified that the system does not speak simply of the American judicial or health system, but of the ruthless individualism that permeated American society in those years, back from the Reagan and yuppie decade, and which has returned to dominate the 21st through new paths century with slogans of greed.

Just think of the Covid-19 pandemic, how much the total collapse of their (and our) health system has shown us , who believed and we believed to be perfect, and instead the concept of extreme privatization has led it towards total decay. But in this film a toxic and ruthless creed also makes its way, fanatically classist and individualist: the poorest, the most marginalized and the weakest are a burden to society, indeed they are chickens to be plucked by virtue of a hatred which Coppola's film makes palpable in the various executives Baylor interrogates, in the false modesty of CEO Wilfred Keeley (Roy Scheider), perhaps the true, authentic and ruthless monster of the whole story. Men like him are back in fashion, paradoxically they have taken hold with their storytelling among those less well-off classes that Coppola's film paid homage to in their ability to resist pain, humiliation which however never stripped them, as in the case of the Blake family , of one's dignity.

Between gender violence and a crisis of values ​​

The Rain Man 25 years ago however, in addition to breaking our hearts with the story of an agony that could have avoided, in a scam not so different from those that this year too were denounced on the front page of newspapers such as the New York Times or the Washington Post, it went beyond the limits of legal drama. This is thanks to the character of Kelly, who thanks to a very good Claire Danes is still today one of the most realistic representations that cinema has ever given us of what it means to be victims of domestic violence, defenseless and with no possibility of escape. Gender-based violence was inside her blue eyes, the swellings and fractures that her husband inflicted on her, and it should be emphasized that in the end, Coppola also took it upon himself to talk to us about how the system has limits that do not allow everyone to get justice.

Claire in the end, in order not to be massacred by her husband, she would have killed him, almost using Rudy Baylor in a certain sense, moved by her utter desperation.

In Spain an algorithm evaluates the risk of violence against women. But it failed VioGén is a system used by the Spanish Interior Ministry since 2007 to predict the risk of gender-based violence based on complaints made to the police. A recent external evaluation of the model has brought to light some alarming problems 

Even today, on balance, it is enough to open the front pages of our country's newspapers to understand how much a woman is still defenseless in the face of such a scenario The terrible scourge of humiliation inflicted on the female sex also emerged in another absolutely interesting character: Virginia Madsen's Jackie Lemanczyk. A former Great Benefit employee, she became Rudy and Deck's trump card at the end of the trial, thanks to confidential information on the illegalities committed by Great Benefit. In parallel, her testimony would have revealed a repulsive scenario, in which the woman had been constantly humiliated, harassed, finally forced to give sexual services to her superiors, in order to save her career. Think about it, it was only a short time ago that we were all amazed by the Metoo movement, by uncovering an infernal cauldron made of abuse, male chauvinism, something that persists away from the spotlight in our society. Here then Coppola expertly, also thanks to the character of a histone Danny De Vito, suggested to us the existing dilemma on the difference between law and justice, on how often one seems to cage the other.

The Rain Man was therefore not simply one of the best legal dramas of that decade, it not only served to raise the curtain on the vulnerabilities of Western society among the general public, that which claimed to be perfect and progressive, and instead soon would have had to face a sad reality: it had not managed to eliminate injustices and imbalances within it, it had only swept them under the carpet. That film, 25 years ago, above all warned us about how much the most ruthless capitalism in the end had returned to shape the superstructures of our society, allowing those who could pay the best lawyers to get away with it. Well…almost always frank, until the Rudy Baylor on duty gets in the way. Something that emerged in Billy Ray's excruciating final monologue, killed more than by his illness, by the ruthlessness of the neo-capitalist model, which does not look anyone in the face. We know this well because with each passing day, his grip destroys our quality of life and the very concept of a supportive society.

Powered by Blogger.