Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Film Review-The Way

This small film by Emilio Estevez and starring his father Martin Sheen is the perfect getaway from all of the Hollywood 3D, romance and vampires. The core of this movie is about a father who loses his son unexpectly and now has to figure out what happened with their relationship.
Daniel, the son played by Estevez in flashbacks and as a figment of his father’s thoughts was killed in a storm while traveling abroad. Turns out the journey he was on included a prillmigage along the El camino de Santiago through France and Spain taken by many people from many countries. The father, Tom travels to identify his son’s body and decides to have him cremated. Soon after learning why Daniel was there he takes his ashes, picks up his passport and Daniel’s back pack, which is stuffed with every item a lone traveler needs and sets out onto the trail to finish what his son started. Along the way he does as the police officer says and at each stop he gets a different stamp on his passport to prove he was there.
As Tom walks he passes other travelers along the way and some even talk to him. At the beginning of the trail me meets A Dutchman, Joost who says his walking to lose weight. At one of the rest stops a Canadian, Sarah starts up a conversation with him and promises she will quite smoking at the end.  Together the threesome run into an Irishman, Jack a writer with writer’s block. As they walk they drink wine, have conversations, even if one doesn’t want to talk and at one point gets into trouble with the law. All four have their own demons and are just trying to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives.
The characters are simple yet complex and if I were traveling alone and ran into them I would have to follow and see where their journey ends.
The screenplay written by Estevez from the book Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim's Route  is sweet, quaint and well done. The actors are superb playing the subtle characters that the viewer comes to care about. The entire look and action within the film is beautiful. Emilio Estevez brings the countryside of France and Spain to life with views of fields, some with sheep, bridges over rivers and the small villages along the way. Each stop has new people to meet and new experiences to enjoy.
If you want to take a wonderful hike along a new and winding road without leaving the comforts of home go see The Way.

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