Ray : DVD Review

Director: Taylor Hackford
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Regina King, Clifton Powell
Music: Craig Armstrong
Released: 21/03/11
Format: Blu-ray

Jamie Foxx is all you need to make this film a success. A biopic of Ray Charles it was always going to appeal to the artists’ legions of faithful fans. Perhaps some were not expecting such an honest and down and dirty examination of Charles’ life but they still got a very interesting and well performed film.

Jamie Foxx is undeniably perfect as Ray Charles. Foxx is astounding and it’s fortunate that his supporting cast are also all on top form as he would have looked out of place with a cast that were not firing on all cylinders.

Ray Charles' youth was one that was filled with tragedy. He was never far from pain. He lost his sight at the tender age of seven and his younger brother also died by drowning. But perhaps because of these tragedies in his life Ray grew up strong and was also independent – something that his mother had taught him to be. Music was an early influence in his life and it soon became his overriding passion above anything else. Yet this film also deals with much nastier, darker issues within Ray’s life… from his addiction to heroin to his womanising.

It’s a tad over-long (Hackford could have hacked a few bits out) but on the whole it’s a compelling drama played out by a cast of impressive actors with plenty of interesting and unexpected things to say about the life of Ray Charles.

The Blu-ray is nice improvement upon the DVD which was released over five years ago now. The image is clear and sharp and the colours are bright and bold.

Author : Kevin Stanley