RAYMOND & RAY Review: It's a family affair
We can all agree that there's something weird and mechanical about making funeral arrangements when you've just lost someone close to you. Most of the time you are still dealing with the grieving process and here you are paying bills to the mortician. Sometimes, you have to take this with a laugh. This is basically the premise of this new dramedy Raymond & Ray directed by Rodrigo García and starring Ethan Hawke & Ewan McGregor as two slighty different half-brothers. It's the acting from those 2 stars that made the movie work for me...
Synopsis: "Two half brothers reunite at the funeral of their father, with whom both had a bad relationship."
Raymond & Ray was actually pretty great, I didn't expect to laugh this much in a movie about grief and death. Ewan McGregor & Ethan Hawke are so endearing and they really fit as this odd couple of half-brothers that have to work together to handle their emotions. It's a darkly funny look at the process of losing a close one that makes you think without being too philosophical. The script might be a bit uneven but I appreciated the ride, because yeah, there's a few surprises.
They have a down to earth approach that makes this dark comedy relatable, it has a morbid sense of humor at times and they have to dig up a few skeletons in the closet that adds to the family drama. Great actors and good laughs in a pretty grim premise, so that definitely makes an odd end result. If I can add something I thought the music in the movie was also really good, it's composed by Jeff Beal. It's a jazzy/blues score that also fits in the narrative of the movie with Ethan Hawke's character having a musical background they did a good job incorporating that to the story.
Overall, it's the chemistry between Ewan McGregor & Ethan Hawke that keeps the movie on its feet. With all the seriousness that goes behind topics like death and betrayal, they're still able to make us laugh and care about those two half-brothers who have their own issues. I haven't seen a lot of buzz around this and it premiered at TIFF to mixed reviews. I would personally recommend it if you're in a mood for a black comedy with solid actors that showed up to work.
Initial Score: 7.5/10
Raymond & Ray will be streaming on Apple TV+ on October 21st