The Way: Life is Too Big to Walk It Alone
I love movies that dig deep into the human experience and cause me to reflect on my own life. Emilio Estevez’s new movie “The Way” is no exception. Estevez directed and wrote this movie which his father Martin Sheen stars in. The film tells the story of Tom (Martin Sheen) who travels to France to pick up the body of his son Daniel (Emilio Estevez) who died on pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago.
Tom is an opthamologist whose life lacks meaning and purpose. His wife has passed away and his relationship with his only son Daniel is not a good one. On the golf course, he receives a call that will change his life. His son has died and he needs to pick up the body in France. The viewer doesn’t really know why but Tom decides to take the same pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago.
The Camino de Santiago is an ancient path to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain where it is said that the bones of the apostle James lie. Many people travel this trail for many different reasons. As Tom travels this path, he slowly realizes that the Way is not meant to be traveled alone. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot of the movie, but Estevez does an excellent job of exposing our need for community.
I don’t like movies that preach. One of my frustrations with “Christian” movies is that the message is so over the top. This movie is deeply spiritual but it does not preach. At one point Sheen’s character says that he isn’t religious and the person he is talking to tells him that the journey on the Camino is not a religious one. There is a deep difference between religion with all its rules and guidelines and the experience of spirituality. As I have read through various articles it is obvious that the themes of this movies come from Estevez’s own spiritual journey.
In an interview with Tim Kelly, Estevez says, “I’m still on a journey. I’ve yet to declare myself in terms of religion, but I think there’s no question I’m on a spiritual journey. As we all are. And I’m very much in touch with it, in ways that surprise me daily.” Read more of this interview here.
I would highly recommend this movie. Watch it twice. Watch it with someone and talk about it. Your spiritual life will be deeper because you watched this movie.
Here is the trailer for the movie