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In "The Way," four of these pilgrims find themselves thrown together by chance. As their stories unfold we meet Tom, played by Martin Sheen, completing the journey begun by his estranged son who died in a sudden mountain storm shortly after setting off. He is joined by: a jovial bear of a Dutchman, hoping to regain his wife's affection; an acerbic Canadian woman, trying to exorcise the anger built up in an abusive marriage; and an Irish author who masks his writer's block by talking nonstop.
The acting is superb, though some of the characters may have been a bit overdrawn at the beginning. Writer-Director Emilio Estevez, who is Martin Sheen's son and plays his son in the movie, deftly interweaves the development of the personal stories of the four main characters with the hardships and camaraderie of the Pilgrim's Way. He takes us through lush countryside and rocky hills, stopping in local inns, gathering with other pilgrims in the evening around meals, and then retiring to Spartan dormitories to start off again in the morning.
Gradually the experience of the Camino works its way into the spirits of the pilgrims. They become mirrors for each other, helping to strip away the protective layers that have preserved their pain and isolation, and with their new vulnerability, freeing them to feel and connect once more.Read more ›
I was a bit anxious about "The Way." I anticipated so many ways a movie that features backpacking, pilgrimages, and religion could go wrong. Would it be excessively pious and maudlin? New Age-y and Christophobic? Simply a bad movie? There is a reason so many films focus on graphic, intimate scenes and explosions: those are easy to shoot and they arouse viewer interest. "The Way" rapidly calmed my anxiety. It's a honey of a movie.
Tom (Martin Sheen) is a sixty-something ophthalmologist. His son Dan (Emilio Estevez) dies in an accident. Tom travels to France to retrieve his son's body. Learning of his son's attempt to walk the camino, Tom decides to cremate his son's remains and carry them as he fulfills his son's plan.
Tom walks through picturesque, mountainous countryside and through the plazas of old towns. As happens when one is traveling, Tom encounters an assortment of eclectic characters. Joost (Yorick van Wageningen) is a corpulent, talkative, pot smoking Dutchman who is walking the trail to lose weight. Sarah (Deborah Kara Unger) is a sharp tongued, very angry Canadian blonde. Jack (James Nesbitt) is an Irish travel writer with the gift of gab - he didn't just kiss the Blarney Stone, he went steady with it. There is a priest with a brain tumor who distributes rosaries, and pilgrims debating the roles of the French, the Spanish and the Basque in ancient battles against invading Moors. Waiters take very strong stands on tapas.Read more ›
So I was unprepared for the emotional impact the film had from the beginning. The screenplay was wonderfully written, the characters were all flawed as each of us are. I don't want to provide too much details, because too much is described already.
I will say that the journey was an emotional one as well as a scenic splendor. As the viewer gets to accompany these pilgrims from diverse walks of life, you see their flaws and qualities up close.
The visual beauty of The Way cannot be overlooked. The innkeepers and fellow pilgrims all looked like regular human beings from everywhere. The music that accompanied the film was well chosen.
A deeply touching film.
In recent months, I've been treated to not just one, but three deeply moving film treats. 127 Hours, The Kings Speech, and this movie, "The Way" which is my favorite of all. These movies are all powerful and dense in content and emotion, without the use of gratuitous sex or violence. They are adult, real, frank, and thought provoking, without being twisted or gross.
These are three completely different movies, from three different directors, and with very different subject matter. Their only common thread is that they are simply good. Very good. Films like these are the reason I fell in love with the movies so very many years ago. The one which zeroed in on my individual heart though, even among these three great films, was "The Way".
There are plenty of great reviews here about the specifics of the film, and I encourage you to read enough of them to pump you up to see it, but don't try to find out too much about the movie. How it unfolds, etc.. The movie itself can be a mini pilgrimage. Just go, knowing you will enjoy it more than Twilight Part X, and let your self be vulnerable to this beautiful movie.
This film is a chance for you to have a 2 hour mini-pilgrimage of your own. To reflect on your own journey in life, whatever form that it taking. To suffer, die, and be reborn in a brief afternoon at your local multiplex, and to give a knowing smile, and wink from time to time, and to laugh as well.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this movie. If you are a hiker/backpacker, you will enjoy it also.Published 5 days ago by Rob in Texas
Wonderful story with interesting characters the viewer cares about.Published 6 days ago by Stephen A. Timm
I loved the movie. We had seen it while on vacation but my husband who is hard of hearing could not understand what was being said. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Linda Brown