Perfect, I found a movie that fits my Sunday morning needs. The Way is a character driven narrative that follows one guy, Tom (played by Martin Sheen), and his three travel companions whom he meets on his trek: Joost from Amsterdam, Jack from Ireland, and Sarah the Canadian. Tom’s story is sentimental. A rational and result driven guy, Tom is even less sociable while he is mourning the loss of his only son. Writer/director (and real life son of Sheen) Emilio Estevez played Tom’s son in the few scenes that included flashbacks. So the story of how this group of four lost souls become a family of travelers is more intricate than you might assume. The unveiling of each character’s true motivation for their journey is what makes the story so rich and their bonds so deep.
Joost is the first character Tom encounters, and while he tries to get rid of him as quickly as they meet, Joost remains with Tom throughout the journey. Sarah is a bit more aggressive in trying to discover Tom’s secret reasons for walking the Camino, but the viewer finds out that her reasons are just as complicated. Jack is over the top and extremely self aware. He comes off a bit selfish, mining for a good plot for his novel, but his journey reveals loyalty and true love for his new family.
The film features themes of loss, renewal, and camaraderie without being melodramatic. Estevez’s writing keeps the plot fresh and realistic, and even laugh out loud funny at times. His ability to retain the humor in the story is the main reason why I liked the movie, personally. The cinematography is fun, and you get a mini tour of the Spanish countryside while watching. In an interview, Estevez revealed that the only real actors in the movie were the main characters; the rest were actual pilgrims making their own journey. Besides Tom’s fellow travelers, the movie also showcases an array of relationships one can make when making a journey like this. I recommend to anyone who likes a heartfelt story or is just interested in traveling in general.