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as Isabel Hudson
as Ken Arnold
as Latitia Arnold
as Audrey Martin
as Colleen Lewis
as Corbette Adams
as Sandhya Bhatnagar
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Critic Reviews for Rain
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Audience Reviews for Rain
This was a good movie, considering the fact that you could tell it didn't have much of a budget. It did have some well known actors, which added to this nice little movie. Some REALLY bad acting from those that portrayed the thugs, however. Really bad! BUT, the rest of the surrounding cast, and the heartwarming story, saved this movie for me. Especially the girl who plays Rain. She is beautiful, and obviously very talented. I enjoyed this.
Former camera operator Craig DiBona's directorial debut is a poor-at-best attempt to breathe life into novelist Virginia C. Andrews' (author of the popular 1987 novel Flowers in the Attic) somewhat obscure, somewhat popular novel Rain, suggesting that perhaps camera operators should stick to operating cameras.
In an opening scene that leads viewers to believe initially that what they are about to watch is actually worthwhile, DiBona expertly combines the melodic singing of the film's protagonist, a nineteen-year-old African American girl named Rain, with the sounds of her parents fighting, both against a backdrop that pictures Rain cross-legged on her bed as she plays her guitar. Her parents' only presence within the frame occurs in the form of a beer bottle that is hurled across a room off screen, entering the frame from the left and smashing against a wall on the far right hand side of the screen, abruptly bringing Rain's informal performance to an end. Unfortunately, this brilliant combination of sound and image lasts only a moment before RAIN becomes choked with poor and painfully exaggerated acting and an unbelievable (and unbelievably slow) plot.
Although RAIN is a well intentioned film that strives for sincerity and authenticity in its efforts to address issues of race, class, and age using the all-too-familiar gang violence, diamond-in-the rough, and generational-gap scenarios, it ultimately fails as a "message film", perhaps because the message that RAIN attempts to impart on the viewer has in recent years become somewhat of a tired cliche. A quote on the DVD cover states, "Knowing the truth could be harder than living a lie"; combined with the film synopsis on the back cover, which details virtually every event that takes place during the film, actually watching RAIN becomes an almost superfluous task for viewers.
Equally unimpressive are the performances of the film's main characters: Brooklyn Sudano (My Wife and Kids, 2003-2005; CSI: NY, 2007) as Rain Arnold, Faye Dunaway (Chinatown, 1974) as Isabel Hudson, longtime television actor Robert Loggia as Mrs. Hudson's driver, Jake, and Khandi Alexander (CSI: Miami) as Rain's ‚mother,‚? Latisha Arnold. Brooklyn Sudano gives an extremely contradictory performance, alternating between a shy, introverted personality and instances of extreme defiance, self-confidence and hardheadedness that border on conceit.
Particularly surprising is the lackluster performance given by Faye Dunaway, whose schizophrenic, forced diegetic emotion stands as an indication that this once great actress may in fact have forgotten how to act. Dunaway's terrible performance is particularly disappointing given the fact that her involvement in the film is used as one of the DVD's main selling points, a teaser for die hard fans of the neo-noir film Chinatown and Dunaway's infamous character, Evelyn Mulwray.
While Loggia's portrayal of Jake, a retired police officer charged with driving Rain back and forth between her biological grandmother's mansion and a prestigious performing arts high school, is much more natural than the forced performances of Dunaway and Khandi Alexander, Loggia fails to bring to the character a depth that would convince viewers that he is doing anything more than simply playing himself in the film. Alexander, on the other hand, does give her character a unique persona, but the exaggeration with which she portrays her character's emotional breakdowns and spastic coughing fits sours what small asset she could have been to the film.
Had RAIN employed greater plot development, faster pacing and deeper, more realistic characters, the film would have been much more successful in addressing completely and beneficially the main situations around which the story's action centers. RAIN fails to capitalize on an opportunity to teach its viewers valuable lessons about judging another person based on his or her appearance, age, or socioeconomic status. While the stark contrast created between Rain, a young African American girl brought up in the poverty and violence that the film seems to assert as characteristic of any predominantly or entirely black neighborhood, and her grandmother, Isabel, a wealthy, privileged, selfish white Southern woman embarrassed to have a biracial granddaughter and who is critical of everyone when the two women are thrown into a situation that forces them to share a home has great deal of potential, the leaps and bounds with which Isabel transitions from removed indifference to loving devotion are far from believable and rob the story of any true value.
Audio/Video. The image is presented in widescreen format with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. For viewers with an old tube television, the picture will look fine, but for those viewers watching RAIN on a large, widescreen LDC or plasma television the image will be low quality and extremely small, with large black bars bordering each of the four sides of the screen.
Extras. Unfortunately for DiBona, the DVD release of RAIN doesn't provide any possibility for redeeming the film with special features or interviews with the actors or production team. This single-disc release of RAIN actually includes no special features whatsoever.
Bottom Line. This film has virtually no redeeming qualities, unless you're partial to one of the film's actors or are teaching a class on race, racism, or gang violence in the U.S. in which the situations are more important than the quality of the performance.
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