Saturday, 17 December 2011

THE WAY (2009)

If you had told me at the beginning of the year that one of my favourite movies seen during 2011 would be directed by Emilio Estevez I'd probably collapsed laughing. No disrespect to Emilio, it just seemed there were likely to be better candidates. But THE WAY has insinuated itself into that select band of films that become personal favourites for reasons beyond their merits as cinema. Emilio's real life dad plays a respectable and rather dull dentist who has issues with his more adventurous son's lifestyle. The son (played by Emilio) heads for Europe and sets out to walk the pilgrimage route - El Camino - to Santiago in Spain. On his first day he is killed in a freak storm. Dad goes to Europe to bring the body home but makes a spot decision to do the pilgrimage carrying his son's ashes. On the surface that is about it but this is a film that goes far beneath the surface. Along the route he meets and reluctantly travels with three other other pilgrims - a Canadian, an Irishman and a Dutchman. All believe they have rather superficial reasons for making the 800 km journey , but on a pilgrimage (and I speak from experience) you often find that your head ends up in a completely unexpected place. THE WAY is not a religious film, certainly not a Christian film in any accepted denominational way and it isn't even particularly spiritual in any obvious soul searching way. Yet, in being about the experience of simply being human it manages to be both religious and spiritual without ever resorting to sanctimonious preaching. At the same time the film is very moving and very funny. Rating *****

4 comments:

Cerpts said...

That really sounds interesting. The part where the father does the pilgrimage carrying his son's ashes hooked me! Gonna hafta put that in my queue right away!

Cerpts said...

Ah yes . . . I see that the damn dvd doesn't come out here in the States until next February. Story of my life.

wellyousaythat© said...

who'd have thunk it; the star of Mighty Ducks turns in a great performnace behind the lense.

ernest said...

You may see it earlier than you thought!