Raymond and Ray Plot Synopsis
Raymond and Ray is an Apple TV comedy-drama from writer-director Rodrigo García. The film follows Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke as half-brothers Raymond and Ray, who are put in an awkward situation after the death of their deadbeat father, Harris. The man’s dying request? That his estranged sons dig his grave.
How do Raymond and Ray process the death of their father?
Raymond and Ray are half-brothers with different mothers. They grew up with each other, despite each of them having a tense relationship with their shared father. Over time, they grew apart, and it’s only Harris’ death that brings them together again.
The brothers, although they shared similar experiences with Harris, process their dad’s death in different ways. Raymond wants to do things right. Harris has hurt him deeply, but he desperately needs to mourn the loss of what little relationship there was left between them.
Ray, on the other hand, couldn’t care less about mourning. It seems he comes along for the funeral and the grave-digging process just for Raymond’s sake. But his indifference crumbles at times to reveal hurt and grief.
What did Harris do to hurt Raymond?
Harris was a terrible father to both brothers, but he specifically hurt Raymond when he slept with his wife. When Ray wants to remind Raymond of Harris’ true nature, he points this out–including the fact that Raymond’s son turned out to be Harris’ child.
While Raymond wants to drive his father’s death the “right” way, all this pain eventually comes to a head at Harris’ burial. Raymond takes a gun and shoots the coffin where his father rests several times.
In the end, Raymond gets a sort of poetic justice as well–by sleeping with Lucia (Maribel Verdú), the mother of his father’s child.
Whom did Harris lie to about being his son?
At the burial, Raymond and Ray (and Harris’ other secret gaggle of sons) are given letters from the man himself. Ray’s letter simply states that he was a golden boy, and Harris didn’t know what to do with him. But Raymond’s letter reveals that Ray is not Harris’ biological son. In it, Harris asks Raymond to do with that information what he will.
This revelation is complicated when one remembers that Harris, having named his sons the same thing, would intentionally call Raymond “Ray” and Ray “Raymond.” With this in mind, it may very well be that Harris did the same in his letters, which would mean that it’s Raymond who is not Harris’ biological son.
This would explain why Harris went to Ray’s sports games and not Raymond’s. It could even be how Harris justified sleeping with Raymond’s wife. And with this little mix-up, it’s possible he’s trying to mess with Raymond and Ray still, even beyond the grave.
How does ‘Raymond and Ray’ end? Do the brothers forgive Harris?
The comedy-drama ends with Harris’s body six-feet below the ground. Ray briefly seeks comfort with Harris’ nurse Kiera (Sophie Okonedo), but the two part on rocky terms. Raymond decides to stay with Lucia and Simon for a few days, leaving Ray to drive home on his own.
“We never really knew him, did we?” Ray asks before they part ways. It’s not an admission of forgiveness, but it is an acknowledgement that Harris was a complicated man.
Raymond hesitates, then responds, “Let’s talk this weekend.” The anger has seeped from their conversation about their father–which is left unfinished.
Ray walks to his car. As Raymond drove to Ray in the rain at the beginning of the film, now Ray drives away in the same fashion.
Read More: Raymond and Ray Movie Review