1.The film “The Rainmaker” lead the story with two centerpieces who are a major corrupted insurance company and Rudy Baylor who just passed the bar exam to become a lawyer. Rudy meets two clients at Memphis University while doing community service to give a free legal advice. One of his clients is a low-income family who needs an operation to save their son’s life, but corrupted insurance company refuses to pay his operation cost. The story truly starts from this point where Ruby takes this case against an insurance company. The central idea of this film is about how the low-income family mistreated by corrupted and powerful insurance company and the pursuit of an ideal. There are important scenes to support the central idea of this film. When a former employee at an insurance company, Jackie Lemancyzk, and CEO at an insurance company are examined by lawyer Ruby in a court, the dirty secret of an insurance company about how they operate company to get profit and take an advantage of poor people slowly reveal. Also, the last scene of “The Rainmaker” show the way how Ruby chases his ideal. Eventually, he wins the case, and he is broadcasted by TV enough to make him popular and busy. However, he decides to teach a law instead of practicing it because he finds out that he needs to use every means to be a successful lawyer that it is against his ideal.
2. There are several elements of the film that relate to the central idea. (a) In the narrative aspect, the plot consists of the chronological order without any flashbacks. The film begins with backstories of Ruby Baylor childhood and his present life over his narration while showing his present life. His back stories over narration help audiences to understand his life and his character, and then the important event comes when he takes the case against an insurance company. In the middle of the film, it shows how Ruby and his paralegal deals with challenges and conflicts with the case. The climax and end of the film show how they resolve the case against a corrupted insurance company.
(b) The acting style of characters was very realistic. This film is about the social problems which every low-income family can undergo and the pursuit of an ideal which every person might think of it one day in their life. That means the actors have to perform a realistic way to convey that film story can happen in real life. Majority characters are not dynamic include protagonist Ruby. They all keep their characteristic as film progress. However, there is one character who changes her character as film progress. In the beginning of the film, Kelly Ricker who suffer domestic violence by her spouse afraid to divorce, but the end of the film, she finally changes her behavior and tries to escape from domestic violence.
(c) In this film, generally, director Francis Ford Coppola and cinematography John Toll employ an object point of view. Whenever a camera shoots a mother who is trying to sue an insurance company for his son’s operation cost, a soft light technique was employed. A soft light technique depicts a mother’s look more innocent. There is one scene very stood out to me. A lawyer Leo F. Drummond who use any tactics to win his cases is a one of the members of experienced lawyer group against Ruby’s case. When a Drummond cross examines a former employee, Jackie, aggressively, a Drummond camera angle was the low camera angle. That angle made Drummond more villain and made an audience to feel that he is really threatening a Jackie. On the other hand, a Jackie camera angle was close-up shots which help an audience to focus on her emotion.
(d) The pace and tempo of this film are overall moderate which makes the audience to feel they are actually observing a court case not a fiction story. The interesting editing part of this film is a murder scene which was very intense and chaotic among this film scenes. The fast cut with many different angled shots builds up tensions. After this scene, I realized that editing techniques can contribute to audience’s emotion. That is why I enjoyed this scene.
(e) The film shot in Memphis where Rudy graduated his law school. However, the most of scenes took places in sets designs of courthouse and lawyer’s office. These sets obviously look realistic and relate to the story. All of the character’s customs as well coordinate with their job and age. For example, Ruby who just became lawyer dressed suits in almost every scene, but he doesn’t wear fancy suits which shows his character and circumstances.
3. The director of this film is Francis Ford Coppola who is known as “The Godfather.” The cross-cutting scene in The Godfather is a very iconic scene that people still have mentioned about it. In “The Rainmaker”, the audience can observe the cross-cutting scenes once again with director Coppola. When Ruby examines the witness in the court, at the same time, the film shows his paralegal is searching for a vital witness. It is a very well-known technique of director Coppola.
4. The Rainmaker is a very interesting film. In my aspects, this film was well-directed and well-acted with a sense of humor. If there were not any sense of humor, the film would have been so serious that might make this film boring. The old lady that he meets at a university to give a free legal advice and his paralegal who doesn’t pass the bar exam for six times are key characters who put humor inside the film. The two characters are assistant whenever Ruby needs help. When Kelly Ricker was beaten by her spouse, Ruby took her to the old lady house and the old lady warm welcomed her. This scene is not related to the main subject, but it touched my heart. The old lady was abandoned by her son who only hopes to acquire her heritage and the young lady Kelly Ricker was also emotionally abandoned by her spouse. The second reason that I enjoy this film is Ruby’s characteristic. Ruby could be a millionaire after he won the case against a gigantic insurance company, but he chose to teach a law rather than practicing it. Ultimately, he decided to chase in the pursuit of his ideal instead of being a lawyer who use any means to win the case. The Ruby knew his way and he was determined to go his way even though money was in front of him. His character made me think my ideal and consider if I am on the right track in the pursuit of my ideal. The recent movies that I have been seen showed how characters abandoned their ideal and became to chase the only fortune. However, I think this is the nowadays movie style which can attract more audience and make a movie more suspense. The Rainmaker has no “surprise” and “suspense”, but the story itself was enough to attract me without any of them.