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ray charles

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The Man Who Could Carolyn Richardson ENG2D Mrs. Quinn Holy Cross Secondary School Jan. 9th, 2007 The Man Who Could Movie: Ray Director: Taylor Hackford Lead Actors: Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Regina King, Clifton Powell, Curtis Armstrong, Harry Lennix Film Company: Universal Studios Running Time: 152 minutes If you thought his music was amazing, wait until you learn about his life. The film "Ray" depicts the triumphs and the opposing horrors in the life of Ray Charles Robinson, a poor blind pianist born in Georgia, who rose to fame and became the creator of R&B, and a music icon of America. The movie follows his life from a poor artist in Seattle, trying to make his way, to the top artist in America and diving into heroin and other drugs. Throughout his life and the movie, he is tormented by flashbacks of his past as a young boy, where he watched his brother drown in his mother's washtub, and became blind, possibly due to glaucoma. His goal was to keep his promise towards his mother-"Never let nobody or nothin' turn you into a cripple"-but as he is running from his promise, it catches up to him, and he realizes that he is turning himself into a cripple, and being held captive by his obsessive drug use. ...read more.


The plot is one that we are beginning to hear too often, about how a person who has everything almost loses it through drugs, yet the plot still manages to remain interesting because of the flashbacks to Ray's life when he was young. The character of Ray (Jamie Foxx) is played brilliantly. If you don't come from a generation that grew up with Ray Charles, you still get the feeling that Jamie Foxx does an impeccable job of playing his character and makes it believable that he is Ray Charles, and not the actor playing him. All actors play their characters exceptionally, and transport you back to another, earlier era in America. This exceptional acting is what makes the movie brilliant. Taylor Hackford's ability to create complex, beautiful scenes also makes the movie a pleasure to watch. Every movie has a "magic moment", where the film comes to life, and the scene has certain elements of beauty, and is magnificently directed. In this film, the "magic moment" is the first scene. It is important to the rest of movie because during this scene, Aretha Robinson (Ray's mother- Sharon Warren), states the promise that she made Ray make to her, to the audience. ...read more.


Some of the events in the film did not actually take place in Ray Charles' life, such as when he was banned from the state of Georgia, for refusing to play before a segregated audience. The state of Georgia did not in fact, issue a public apology to him, and it did not name its state song as "Georgia on my Mind". Also, Ray Charles had more wives and love interests than Della Bea, and was long divorced when the fictional apology from the state of Georgia was issued, at the end of the movie. However, the concept and the message of the film stays intact-that Ray Charles was an incredible man, with an incredible handicap and past, incredible talent, and a incredible life. He let nothing deter him from his goal, especially not his handicap. I was impressed with the film and I would definitely recommend it to my friends and family. It can be dark, depressing, the topics that the film deals with can be heavy at times, and make your skin crawl, but the music and the beautifully choreographed scenes made the film a pleasure to watch for me. Some of the content was sickening, but nevertheless, you are left in awe of the strength of the man, the actor, and the director, as the film comes to a fulfilling ending. Ray never touches drugs again. ...read more.

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