A couple of weeks ago, Reggie asked for the DVD of “Ray.” We watched it last week. The movie tells us about the trials Ray Charles (Jamie Foxx) endured early in his life and how his mother, Aretha Robinson (Sharon Warren) insisted that he make his own way in the world.
I like how they showed the coloured bottles on the tree on the farm where Ray grew up and how Ray liked to look at them before he was blind.
Ray’s younger brother, George, drowned in a basin of water while Ray was looking after him. When his mother saw the boy under water, she asked, “Why didn’t you call me, Ray?” Ray felt so guilty. Shortly after that, Ray, who was only seven years old, started to go blind slowly due to glaucoma and the trauma of witnessing his brother’s death. His mother taught him how to be independent. He showed him how to make his way around the house and to use his sense of hearing. When he stumbled, she let him pick himself up, though it broke her heart. She told him, “Stand on your own two feet and don’t let people treat you as a cripple.”
His brother’s death haunted Ray throughout his early life and he got hooked on heroine. In the mid-60s he was busted and he went to rehab. That’s when he realized that it’s not his fault that his brother died and that he actually let others treat him as a cripple.
Being an eldest child, there were times when I felt guilty for some of the things that happened to sis when we were younger. We were only teen-agers when Mama went abroad and I felt responsible for sis when we decided to live by ourselves. Of course, later on, I realized that I wasn’t responsible for the decisions that she made. Now that I have kids, I sometimes worry when I leave my two younger boys to Reggie. I don’t want him to feel guilty if one of his brothers get hurt while under his care.
Back to the movie, I admired Ray’s wife Della (Kerry Washington), whom he called Bea and stayed with him despite his infidelities. At first, Ray didn’t know that Bea knew about the girls he slept with and the illegitimate son he fathered. I don’t know if I could forgive my partner’s infidelity.
Jamie Foxx deserved the Oscar that he won for his remarkable performance of Ray Charles.