Looking for a good movie? One that you haven’t heard a lot about, but when you sit down, you’re sure to be pleasantly surprised? That’s how I felt as I watched, “The Way.” It’s a father-son project, where father, Martin Sheen starred and son, Emilio Estevez, wrote, produced, and directed.
The entire movie was filmed in France and Spain, along the actual Camino de Santiago, a route that’s been traveled for over a thousand years as a pilgrimage for any and all who are so inclined to do so. The Way or ‘walk’, more appropriately called the ‘Camino’, is not based on any one religion. For many, it’s not seen as a religious act at all, but rather a spiritual one. And as it takes 6-8 weeks to complete the journey, it’s not something one jumps into without giving it due thought.
However, that’s what Tom, the main character did – he jumped right in, not even knowing at the onset why he was walking the Camino. As I followed Tom as he made his Way, I was struck by the beautiful landscapes that unfolded in front of me. I was reminded of my time in Spain and France and what it felt like to be around Europeans, the way they dress, the way they experience food and drink, the way life is lived at a much different pace than here in the United States. And of course, all of these factors were exacerbated by the fact that Tom was on a pilgrimage, thus the spiritual undertones were present throughout the movie. It was heavenly.
Below is a link where you can read more about the Camino de Santiago, as well as the movie, “The Way.” Here is an excerpt from the link below that sums up many of my thoughts on the movie:
“The main protagonist of the film is the conflict we each have within ourselves of choosing a life versus living a life. This greater question of finding oneself is a matter of acceptance and choice. Given the circumstances of our lives, how do we understand ourselves, our family and our friends, and the choices we make? Do we blindly go through life unaware of our actions and how they affect not only ourselves but others, as well? What role does our community, friendships and faith play in our decisions?
The Camino, by its nature, serves as the ultimate metaphor for life. Footsteps along a well-trodden path may be our guide, but do not shield us from the questions that most of our busy everyday lives prevent us at times from fully recognizing. The road offers very little to hide behind. The process of life is life along whichever road, path, Camino, or Way we find ourselves on. Our humanity toward ourselves and others, our history and our future is what defines us. Take the journey of life. Buen Camino!”
Man, I wish I had written those last two paragraphs. They are sublime. As is the movie. If you end up seeing it, please let me know. And one day, when it’s my time to walk the Camino, I’ll let you know. For now, I’m content to live the metaphor, but ah, one day….
Click here for more information on The Camino de Santiago and “The Way.”