Review: The Way

Emilio Estevez’s latest feature as director, The Way reteams him with his father Martin Sheen.  Here we see optician Tom (Sheen) receive the tragic news that his son has died whilst travelling in the Pyrenees. Tom soon learns that his son (Estevez) was making the Camino de Santiago, a spiritual pilgrimage to Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. In an effort to understand his son better, Tom decides to make this pilgrimage himself.

It’s hard not to be inspired by The Way. The film is visually beautiful with Estevez making tremendous use of the rural European locations throughout the film.  These are presented to us in a warm and welcoming light but also make it feel as though you are learning about the culture and history of these places. This really shows Estevez’s eye for eye for detail and truly painting a picture, proving he’s equally talented as both director and actor. It is not a complicated story, which is one of the film’s strengths. It is a simple tale of human interest and character development that proves extremely captivating throughout. We see Tom’s gradual change from a cynical US optician to someone making a spiritual journey for themselves and a deceased love one. It’s incredibly touching to see Tom’s attachment to his son’s ashes and the way he carefully spreads them along the walk.

Considering the religious subject matter, this is never in your face. Estevez does not force you into believing that his faith is right, this is more of a representation of human kindness than of religion.  This idea is furthered by the several supporting characters Tom meets on his journey – from overweight Dutchman (Yorick van Wageningen), cynical Canuck (Deborah Kara Unger) and struggling writer (James Nesbitt). The story of friendship and kindness formed between these four characters really steers the film.  When Tom first meets these characters, they can appear slightly aggravating, however, like Tom does, the audience begins to feel slightly attached to them also. The union of these four broken characters acts as a great tale of friendship and human decency, remaining engaging throughout the film.

The characters are all wonderfully developed and it is a joy to watch them change throughout the film. Martin Sheen’s performance really carries the film and it is wonderful to see him a lead role, after what it seems like has been decades of supporting roles. Sheen proves he can still cut it as a leading man with this subtle, yet extremely moving performance – where he features in almost every scene of the 130 minute feature.  As well as perfect emotional drama, The Way features some light comedy throughout, as well as perfectly chosen soundtrack.

The Way is an inspirational and well crafted drama from Emilio Estevez. As well as being visually stunning and insightful, the film’s subject matter is extremely powerful, like its lead performance from Martin Sheen.  The Way is this year’s must see film and will genuinely make you reflect on your own life.

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Post a Comment

  1. I can't wait to see this film. I love the Sheen / Estevez family.

  2. Sounds remarkable! But then again, I don't think Emelio knows how to do anything poorly. This is definitely on my Must See list!

  3. Best movie I've seen in a long time!




  5. I've seen this movie and its phenomonal. sorry cant spell that though heheehe. ok all the characters are interesting and lively in their own right, the dutchman is there trying to lose weight, the girl is trying to quit smoking or so she says although at the end she says "it was never about the smoking" which you understand...and the other guy the writer has writers block and is trying to get ideas. Tom is there because his son (emilio estevez's character) has died on this journey and the dad is going to continue the son's journey. I didnt want this movie to end and when its all over with you may find yourself researching the Camino de Santiago yourself planning your own pilgrimage....again sorry for bad spelling. you can follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/poisoncupcake74 and I am on youtube with the same name. Cheers. Go see this movie. Its excellent.

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  7. Sounds like a weak attempt at an art-house/spiritual film, from what i gather it follows all the standard plots and the characters are so typical for this kind of film. I know Old Charlie (sorry Estevez) may be "WINNING" in his personnel life, but i fear he may be "LOSING" on the directorial aspect of this film.

  8. benhenry... benhenry... Thank god you don't review movies for a living, because that whole statement is probably the dumbest thing I've read in a while. You banter on about typical and standardized, yet you try to capitalize on Charlie Sheen's internet buzz by relating it to Emilio Estevez in a derogatory manner? The only one losing appears to be you, and fortunately for the rest of us we're WINNING because we get to see this film, and you've proven that your opinions carry about as much weight as the tissue paper your father should have pulled off into instead of your mother.

    That is rather long, and judging from your reading comprehension level, i'll dumb it down for you.

    Eat. A. Dick.

  9. Quite the ridiculous thing to say, benhenry. Charlie is not helming the film and Emilio does a excellent job - so I fail to see how Charlie's behavior affects The Way. I look forward to hearing your thoughts once you've seen the movie.



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