Movie Review: The Way

The Way Movie Poster

Movie poster from the movie The Way

When Sara and I are not traveling, I try to recapture that travel feeling that I so enjoy by either reading a good book or watching a good movie. Unfortunately, sometimes it is difficult to find something that I like. I find a lot of travel writers to be a bit pretentious. They feel that their version of travel is the best and everyone else’s is inferior. I admit that I am guilty of this from time to time as well, but I really try to keep an open mind.

I have decided to start celebrating outstanding creativity on this blog by providing reviews of movies, TV shows and books that I really enjoy. You probably will not find any reviews here on things that I did not like because years ago I made the determination that my time is important to me and if I am not enjoying a movie or a book, I simply do not finish it. Consequently, I shy away from trashing something that I have not completed. A side note, I did actually finish the movie Mulholland Drive, so I feel confident in mentioning that, aside from one memorable scene, it is the worst movie ever produced.

So to kick off our new Review section on the blog, I would like to offer a review of the movie The Way, written, produced and directed by Emilio Estevez. The movie stars Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Deborah Kara Unger, James Nesbitt and Yorick van Wageningen.

The Way Cast

The cast from the movie The Way

The movie is about an American doctor, Tom (Martin Sheen), who must travel to France to collect the remains of his son, Daniel (Emilio Estevez), who was killed while attempting to complete an historic pilgrimage known as The Way of Saint James. After arriving in France, Tom decides to complete the journey with the ashes of his son. Along the way he reluctantly joins other pilgrims who each have their own reasons for completing the journey.

This could be my favorite movie of last year and might even be in my top 10 of all time. I will have to let it settle in my subconscious to be sure, but suffice it to say that I loved it. I feel that sometimes my love for travel is misunderstood by most of my family and friends. There is something about the pull of the road that seems to make me feel complete. Instead, maybe it is the constant change and innate incompleteness of travel that is actually conforming to my inner feelings, I’m not sure. The only thing I know is, I truly feel at home when I am not at home.

This movie is the closest representation of that feeling that I have ever seen in cinema. Daniel is that guy. Daniel is me. He feels the constant pull of the road and at nearly 40, he just goes. His father does not support his desire for travel. He feels it is frivolous and Daniel is wasting his life. He does not understand the pull. To Tom, life is about a safe and secure existence in California:  a home and a successful practice as an optometrist. To Tom, that is how to live one’s life.

The Way is about Tom’s journey, both physically across Spain and emotionally to see how Daniel perceives the world. This movie is not for everyone. Those that do not feel the pull might not ‘get it’. I fully understand that. Everyone is different and life is about finding what works for you, what completes you. However, if you are one that feels this pull of the road or maybe you want to understand someone who does, I think this movie might be just what you need.

The Way is available on Netflix Watch Instantly or for rent on Amazon Instant Videos.

  • Chris Krebs

    Glad you’re back! Haven’t seen the movie but did see a 60 Minutes interview a while back with Charlie & Emilio about the film. Mostly about son directing father. Didn’t catch my interest then but your review sure did; good job! Will rent it soon.

    Chris

    • http://flyingcoach.org/ Phil Adams

      Thanks, Chris! I wish I could’ve seen that interview. Maybe I can find it on YouTube. It is a pretty inspiring movie. It makes me want to do the hike. We had some friends do it and they quite enjoyed it.

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