Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Way

    Every once in a while you stumble upon a good movie that you just have to share. The Way is one of those movies. Martin Sheen plays Tom, an aging doctor who is comfortable in his structured and steady life. Suddenly Tom’s world is shattered with the death of his estranged son, Daniel. Daniel was embarking on the pilgrimage journey of El Camino de Santiago or the Way of St. James, which crosses through Spain. Tom travels oversees to collect his son’s body, but in a moment decides to walk the El Camino for Daniel.
     Written and directed by Emilio Estevez, who also portrays Daniel, The Way focuses on the different reasons that many travelers make the trek each year.  Estevez does a great job portraying the locals who are famous for their generosity to the pilgrims. The entire movie is filmed in Spain and France and the actual scene of the walk were filmed on the Camino. Instead of focusing on the physical hardships, Estevez places his focus on the personal growth of the characters. On his trek, Tom meets an array of characters, all walking the Camino for extremely different reasons. Together, these travelers must learn not only to get along, but accept each other as they are…flaws and all.  As Tom spreads Daniel’s ashes along the Camino, he learns that it is not about the life you choose, but the life you live. This inspirational story will have you wishing that you were walking the Camino, but you might want to do a little more research before you jump in as quickly as Tom did. 
    Why I picked this movie up? I had a dear friend, Hope, walk the Camino last year and through her stories I imagined that I was there myself. So how could I not watch this movie? My only complaint is that Estevez did not focus on the physical hardships of making this trek. The characters did not seem tired at all. I really only heard the character of Tom complain once of sore feet. This is not realistic. Give me the blisters, the sores, and the exhaustion! 
    Other than that, this is a wonderful movie that reminds us to get out of the daily rut and do something wonderful. Maybe not walk the Camino, but do something to live your life. 


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