The Way

June 12, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Posted in 2012 | Leave a comment

◊ ½

Emilio Estevez wrote, directed, produced and acted in this small, simple film, which stars his father, Martin Sheen, as a grieving father who decides to walk the road his son died on.  “The Way” refers to The Way of St. James, or Camino de Santiago, which is a Catholic pilgrimage route that runs for a couple hundred miles through France and Spain.  When Estevez’s character dies in the Pyrenees along the route, his father leaves the U.S. for the first time in many years and decides to do the pilgrimage on his behalf.  Along the way, he hooks up with three other pilgrims, each with his/her own demons, and learns something about himself and his son.  If that sounds exactly like standard indie fare, you’d be correct.  As such, the film was pleasant to watch (the scenery was truly beautiful), sometimes vaguely funny, and generally heartwarming.  Though all the characters had facets, none were explored too deeply.  Even the father’s grief was kept safely removed from the audience.  This did not exactly require an “Apocalypse Now” level performance.  Sheen and Estevez are deeply Catholic and Sheen did the way a few years earlier with Estevez’s son.  So, this was a deeply personal movie for them.  I just wish we had not been left so outside of it.

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