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Review | Raymond and Ray – Ethan Hawke and Ewan McGregor in Acid Comedy Drama on AppleTV+

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Film seen at the Rio 2022 Film Festival.

Many cultures seek closure – a ceremony, a gesture, an event that can, in some way, mark and end a period, and therefore begin a new phase. Human beings need these rituals to be able to move forward, emotionally and psychologically, and it is a widely used resource, including in psychiatric treatments and therapies to overcome trauma. However, it is difficult to assume the necessity of needing this closure, because it is not always easy to speak about it aloud. That’s the theme of “Raymond and Ray,” a new comedy-drama that had its long-awaited premiere at this year’s Festival do Rio and recently arrived to AppleTV+ subscribers.

Raymond (Ewan McGregor) is a man estranged from his wife and whose son is away in the US Army. He receives the news that his father, Harris (Tom Bower) has just passed away, and as his last wish, he would like his children to attend his funeral and bury him in person, digging his grave. So Raymond goes to his half-brother Ray (Ethan Hawke), a half-broken ex-musician he hasn’t seen in a long time and spent part of his childhood with when his abusive father was not around. not beat them. So, Raymond and Ray set off on a bitter road trip to the town where their father lived to bury him, but once there they discover that the man they hated was a very different person in the eyes of the locals. And on that day, many secrets will be revealed, at the same time that, even in death, the father continues to manage to disturb them emotionally.

In an hour and forty-five hour, “Raymond and Ray” seeks to depict human frustrations with life and death – and, most importantly, frustrations with human bad temper, after all, not everyone ain’t good people. Written and directed by Rodrigo García, the screenplay starts from death to insert a series of elements that prove that no one really knows anyone, and not even death is able to soften the deepest grudges. In this bias, even ceremonial situations, viewed with great social deference, spiral out of control when true feelings come to light, giving free rein to the obligation to mourn those who decide not to forgive.

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With mastery and acidity, ‘Raymond and Ray’ strips away the conventional masks in which everyone fits comfortably to live with people – the good and the bad. This includes new companions we gain along the way and old acquaintances who can suddenly turn into strangers. Produced by none other than Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón and in a kind of Coen Brothers atmosphere, Rodrigo García explores the talent of Ethan Hawke, in decadent flirtation, and Ewan McGregor, forced to hide his emotions until the last quarter. of functionality, to deal with the human failure of trying to see only the bright side all the time, even when referencing hateful people.

Directed by two top Hollywood talents and with a tangy story in dramatic humor that pushes the characters to the limit of daily performances for survival reasons, ‘Raymond and Ray’ is a unique film, hilarious in its own way, that puts the nerves strained and flirts with the absurd until its final catharsis. Like life, uncontrollable and unpredictable.

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