On The Screen: The Way

Tuesday night we settled in to watch The Way starring Martin Sheen. The movie written (and directed and acted in) by Emilio Estevez tells the story of Tom’s (Martin Sheen) reaction to the death of his globe trotting son Daniel on the Camino de Santiago. The film examines Tom’s growth in the face of death as the inexperienced trekker carries his son’s ashes down the Camino.

The “journey” metaphor is used so often that it is very nearly cliche but the simple truth that a journey can be trans formative keeps it from being so. I found the film’s arms length examination of Tom’s emotional journey (and those of the three travelers he meets along the way) to be well done and interesting and in the end mostly avoids cliche. The characters are fleshed out enough that the viewer feels like they know them but there is still an element of the unknowable surrounding each one. This sense of mystery was enough to have Forrest and I talking about the film on the way home last night; we discussed what each character took from their journey. We discussed what catharsis was achieved by each one.

It made me itch to jump on a plane to Europe (but it isn’t hard to make me crave travel these days). It made me want to take a long, perhaps walking, journey. It made me think about people and the things they seek to escape in their lives. It made me consider ritual (and religion). So all in all, we give The Way the 3Up stamp of approval.

And this tagline? I LOVE IT.

You Don’t Choose A Life, You Live It.