Ray | ★★★★★★★★

My wife and I spent last evening with some close friends and watched Ray on their big screen TV. This biopic focuses on a young Ray Charles ... his singing career ... his adulterous womanizing ... his heroin addiction. The music was simply wonderful ... Georgia on My Mind ... Hit the Road Jack ... What I Say ... many more ... simply wonderful. Jamie Foxx seemed to capture the essence of Ray ... a flawless performance.

So I am sitting here this morning wondering what the take-away from Ray is ... what, if anything, did I learn from the movie? I guess what struck me the most was Ray's pain. His life and music seemed to be a reflection of his inner struggle with his loss of vision, his brother's childhood death and memories of his mom. Ray seemed to spend much of his early life medicating ... burying the pain with drugs and women. He seemed to be a bit like Jonah ... running from the God who had seemed to let him down.

In one scene early in the movie we see Ray 'having church' reading a Braille bible in his one room apartment. There definitely seems to be a spiritual side to Mr. Charles. His childhood seemed to be greatly influenced by church and gospel music. In the movie we see him soar to greatness as his music begin to blend rhythm and blues with gospel - he seemed to take a lot of flack from black church people over this ... yet he continued to push the music envelope with much success.

The message of pain rings out loud as we watch Ray medicating with drugs and women. I guess that is my take-away from the movie ... even the most talented among us have to at some time deal with our demons ... those things in life ... like blindness and death ... that seem to scar us ... mark our thinking and emotional perception of who we are and why we are here. Ray took a long time to get free of his demons ... I guess that is pretty much true for all of us ... some come out only by prayer and fasting ... and some only with time.

I recommend Ray - good music and a good story. On a scale of ten I give it ★★★★★★★★.