Rain Man is an unforgettable film shot in 1988 that was awarded 4 Oscars, including one for Dustin Hoffman for best actor and another for best screenplay.
The plot revolves around the figure of Charles Babbitt, played by Tom Cruise. This is a successful but very selfish young man who works at a car dealership. When his father dies, he verifies that in his will he has left practically all his assets to a brother whose existence he did not even know.
His older brother is Raymond, a man with an autism problem who was masterfully played by Dustin Hoffman. To claim his share of the inheritance, Charles kidnaps his brother and they begin a journey through the United States.
Living together at first will be difficult for him. However, little by little he understands his brother, accepts him and takes care of him. Until she even considers living with him.
The origin of Rain Man
The movie is based on a real character named Kim Peek. The film’s screenwriter says he met Peak during a conference of an association for children with disabilities, and has since wanted to bring his story to the big screen.
Hoffman himself says that he met many times with Peak to copy some of his gestures and the personality traits that best characterized him. On the other hand, Morrow, the screenwriter of the film, decided to give his Oscar to Peek, who did countless galas with his father proudly showing his statuette.
Kim’s father went so far as to say that all this served his son a lot to increase his self-esteem and lose his shyness. Peek, this boy diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, died in 2009 from a heart attack.
But was it really Asperger’s syndrome that Kim Peek had?
Asperger’s syndrome is a variant of autism spectrum disorder . It is manifested by a lack of social ability and clumsiness of movements, offset by an incredible capacity for one or more skills.
People who suffer from it can have amazing skill in things like arithmetic calculation or exact drawing. They can also have an impressive memory, to remember lists or details of a specific topic that fascinates the person with Asperger’s and that the rest of the individuals in their environment call it “strange” or “strange”.
This syndrome was discovered by the Viennese doctor Hans Asperger in his 1944 doctoral thesis. However, when he died his studies were forgotten and it was not until 1981 that Lorna Wing used the term “Asperger syndrome” for the first time.
What did the protagonist of Rain Man really suffer ?
To our surprise, now everything seems to have changed. If we had all identified that tender and naive character with Asperger’s syndrome up to now who knew all the statistics of the baseball leagues or recited pages of the phone book and who interpreted Hoffman to perfection, voices appear that believe otherwise.
Since 2008 it has been said that what Kim Peek could really suffer from was Opitz Kaveggia syndrome, a syndrome linked to the X chromosome and that it owes its name to the surnames of two sisters who had 5 children with GF. They themselves described the syndrome for the first time in 1974.
It is characterized by mental retardation and a peculiar physical appearance : a drooping head and open mouth, a very thin upper lip and a very large lower lip, as well as an outgoing personality and hyperactive behavior coupled with low muscle tone.
So behind a wonderful movie, like Rain Man, there is a great story. Both because of the relationship of the real character with the film, and because of the possible diagnostic confusion of the real and fictional character.