Dead Reckoning: Emilio Estevez and Martin Sheen combine for a surprisingly appealing redemption in The Way
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Going into the screening of The Way I had only a slight notion of what the film was about. My understanding was that it would be sad, depressing, and would be about the grief a parent feels over the loss of a child. To my great surprise, the film deals with the saddest part in a quick and still deep way.
Without going into too much detail, the story is that Martin Sheen’s character, Tom, and his son Daniel (played by Sheen’s actual son, Emilio Estevez) have grown distant since the passing of their wife/mother. Daniel goes to see the world – against his father’s wishes – and Tom gets a phone call every parent dreads. Daniel was killed in a storm one day into his pilgrimage to Spanish city Santiago de Compostela through the Camino de Santiago. Tom takes it upon himself to finish the pilgrimage for his son, but who is he really helping by doing that?
The movie switches from somber to lighthearted as Sheen begins his trek through the countryside. He meets different colorful characters that contribute to the story. Every person has a story to tell, and each contributes to the main character’s metamorphosis: Start to finish, all the characters in the film are changed by learning to accept who they are.
What will instantly hit viewers most is the scenery and the score by Tyler Bates. The soundtrack, mixed with the beautiful fields and gorgeous rustic villas, sends a feeling of relaxation over you. The drama in this film comes in very small doses as you learn why each person is really on this pilgrimage, and it’s never too much to make you stop feeling good about the film.
As a whole, this movie has everything: a positive message about self discovery, beautiful scenery, soothing soundtrack, excellent acting, upbeat characters, and you get to watch a “brotherhood” be formed as strangers band together and develop a bond no one sees coming. One of the many messages is that out of darkness comes new light. A man had to have something tragic happen in his life to help him live again.
I was surprised to discover Estevez produced and directed this film, but not surprised at how excellent Sheen was. At first glance it would seem like Emilio just took the easy ride and cast his real father as his character’s father, but after watching the movie I can’t see anyone else in that role. He did a phenomenal job with it.
The movie is definitely worth seeing in theaters. Pay the ticket price to show your support for a real quality film. The years have not been kind to cinema as the studios like to produce crap and just feed it to the masses to turn a quick profit. It’s up to these lower-budget films to bring real stories and real characters back to the theaters. If you’re looking for a movie that will dazzle you with special effects and mindless action, this is not the film for you. If you want to have your mind captured by beautiful scenery, touching music, and well-scripted characters following an inspirational story, then you have come to the best place.
THE WAY (3½) Directed by Emilio Estevez • Starring Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez • Rated PG-13 • 121 min. • At Osio Cinemas.