Review ‘Ray Donovan: The Movie’: Liev Schreiber Gets a Fitting Finale

The father-son conflict that has fueled the long-running Showtime series is finally resolved in a seemingly inevitable ending.

It’s almost impossible to discuss Show timebelong to “Ray Donovan: The Movie“Without bringing up the main plot points. That said, for those who are new to the “Ray Donovan” universe, venturing enough to enter it for the first time past the end of the series, the title character is a fixture for the elite; invisible and invincible man who makes costly problems disappear. He always sparkles in crisp blazers and white Dolce and Gabbana shirts, so crisp you don’t have to, for a substantial fee, of course. That’s because Ray is so good at what he does. But material traps can’t completely mask the pain stemming from a childhood trauma that has haunted him for seven seasons, and now a series finale is mostly for die-hard fans. .

The drumbeat of the series is a toxic father-son relationship. Liev Schreiber plays Ray Donovan as a grumpy, quiet man who is up against a force that relentlessly opposes his ex-father, Mickey, played by Jon Voight, a crippling, unpredictable character, but strangely lovable, audiences couldn’t help but derive from it saying something about the writing, casting, and performances.

Picking where the seventh season ends, Mickey is on the run, and Ray is determined to find him before everyone else arrives, while his brothers Terry (Eddie Marsan), Bunchy (Dash Mihok) and Daryll (Pooch Hall) juggles questions of ordinary existence and the past that they can never seem to run. Through a series of flashbacks (some of which are in the film) with Christopher Gray as the young Ray and Bill Heck having a lot of fun as Mickey, Ray’s childhood is continually reinforced and the film unravels. Answers to lingering questions about this- is running the story of the chaotic family drama.

“You’ve always been an asshole,” a young Ray confronts his drunken father, and they hurl punches at each other. That pretty much sums up their tumultuous relationship, however, now as grown men, one can’t seem to survive without the other. It’s called “Ray Donovan,” but it could also be called “Ray & Mickey,” because Voight’s performance is what caused the series’ buzz.

He was a “bad” father; Mickey knows this and has accepted it. However, the character is drawn in a way that creates empathy. Mickey has a sign that he cares about his children. It may be easy to hate him, but his love of life is palpable. He understood the bad hand he was dealt with, and he was playing something.

The audience loves him and wants him to win. Maybe he reflects a failure in all of us; an error that we admit to but are powerless to do anything about. It’s no coincidence that alcohol abuse itself is a character in the story. Mickey Drinks; Ray drinks; His brothers drank, buried their pain and struggled with addiction. Nearly half of Americans have a family member or close friend who is an addict, so maybe we identify with Mickey because we see ourselves in him, and we want to be better. and do better.

But we also want Ray to win, while acknowledging that in this move the two cannot coexist in harmony. In what really becomes the confrontation between fatalism and nihilism, one must be eliminated. For longtime fans of the series, you doubt how it will end, exactly how it will end; pain and conflict.

In Ray’s universe, every action he takes has a resounding effect and those closest to him feel it most clearly, especially his daughter Bridget (Kerris Dorsey), who plays a role. important role in closing the finale. Like his relationship with his father, Ray’s relationship with his daughter is equally complicated. He is aware and tries to be anything, but like his father, but the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. He intends to put others in harm’s way. Relocating to New York City, it is surprising that Ray is still not ready to find a permanent resting place in the East River, with his family by his side, with his undying will to dive deep into the ocean. the same depths, in the darkest nights. , using his wits to clean up one hell of a mess, seemingly relying solely on usable wine and coffee. Seriously, does Ray ever sit down and eat?

As a young widow, Bridget somehow managed to maintain her sanity and humanity through a tumultuous childhood.

“It had to stop. It has to end,” she told Ray after a devastating final turn of events that seemed to signal that this traumatic family cycle was finally broken. But if it’s not always certain whether she’s succumbing to a history of multi-generational violence, “Ray Donovan: The Movie,” makes it clear with an exclamation point.

It’s dark and relentless. Just like any beloved character who quickly garners your sympathy, they will rip your heart out. And despite the tangled emotions, viewers couldn’t take their eyes off them.

There was a Nietzschean who read “Ray Donovan” as a study of the character to be a man. If “Killing Them Softly”’s Andrew Dominik moves into television, “Ray Donovan” is the kind of movie he might be making. It talks about socioeconomics, gender and crime myths, and suggests that everything in life is a transaction.

Despite the title character’s tough appearance, Schreiber paints a handsome portrait of a man trying to exercise extreme self-control, who appears to be running in place. Famous in glitterati circles, Ray doesn’t necessarily love what he does. He approaches his actions like a scorpion to a frog, like a tough Boston Southie, who often seems like he wants to work for the victims his clients hire him to eliminate.

When it comes to his own life and problems, Ray can’t just resort to the kind of violence he used during his professional career. He couldn’t hold a baseball bat to the depression and post-traumatic stress disorder that ran rampant in the Donovan family, rooted in a history of abuse.

“I don’t know where to start,” Ray tells therapist Arthur Amiot (Alan Alda) over the phone.

“Why don’t we start with the fact that you called me,” Amiot replied. “It takes a lot of courage. Why don’t you sit with that one. And there the healing begins. Or so it seems. But let’s call it progress, as Amiot has Ray’s trust and openness to him.

“PTSD destroys and kills,” Amiot tells her stoic patient. “It has to be done throughout one’s life to heal, to forgive people, to forgive oneself.” It is in the moments of self-reflection that the series is most interesting and engaging.

The eighth season will afford to dive deeper into the Donovan family plot, which is clearly what the film is meant to do, bringing an end to Schreiber’s protagonist and the prominent group around him. . But one has the feeling that there is much left unsaid and undone. Though perhaps this is the right time to close the curtain on “Ray Donovan,” as the series has begun filming a bit in recent seasons after the action shifted from West to East Coast. As a result, it occasionally drifts, but the character development and strong performances overshadow its weaknesses. After seven seasons, these actors are indistinguishable from the characters they play.

Familiarity with the series is not required, but it will benefit viewers entering the universe for the first time. There is an emotional investment to be made from the time spent with this dysfunctional unit trying to reconcile with its dysfunction, which is when “Ray Donovan” is at its best; sometimes messy, gouging deep into unhealed wounds. Volatility is its strength. And while the film’s finale may not come with a package to please every hardcore fan, it encapsulates a gripping portrait of an eccentric working-class family in turmoil. emotional side as expected; though the specifics may still come as a shock to some.

Grade B

“Ray Donovan: The Movie” premieres Friday, January 14 at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.

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https://www.indiewire.com/2022/01/ray-donovan-the-movie-review-1234690463/ Review ‘Ray Donovan: The Movie’: Liev Schreiber Gets a Fitting Finale


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