14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This is a movie that not only takes the viewer on a breath-taking trek across one of the most rugged landscapes of western Europe but also shares the personal journeys of four modern pilgrims who just happened to have come together while trudging the ancient Camino (The Way). We get to see the incredible beauty of the Pyrenean landscape as it rises and falls over hundreds of miles. Combine this with the numerous physical and spiritual challenges its network of trails offers people who walk this holiest of trails and we have a tale for the ages. Like Chaucer's Canterbury sojourners of old, this little band have much to share about their respective broken lives and the redemption they look forward to experiencing once they reach Santiago. While they have all come from troubled pasts, they must all learn to come together in love and care for each other, as St. James, patron of the way, would want it. No story is more compelling than Tom's. He is a LA opthamologist - effectively played by Martin Sheen - who has travelled to northern Spain to repatriate the remains of his only son who has just died in a freak accident along the Camino. Suddenly, he becomes inspired to take on the task of finishing the journey on behalf of his dead son. What starts out for Tom as a very introverted and inconsolable quest gradually becomes an opportunity to learn about the enormous compassion that awaits him when he opens himself to others. This film excited me right through because I had a strong sense that even with the many challenges along the way, the Camino had the mystical power to pull these four souls together regardless of their many hurts and differences.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2012
I just finished watching this amazing movie. It had me emotionally involved within minutes. You will have tears, aha moments, laughter and be moved to question the life you have chosen to live. The father says at the beginning "I am happy with the life I have chosen," and the son says "It is not the life you choose but the life you live" that counts. That was at the beginning of the movie. Through out the movie you meet many characters with all of their own issues and hangups and you love them all. You may see yourself in the characters and perhaps question the life you have chosen. Perhaps you will want to go on a pilgrimage. I know that I will go on one next year. This is a movie that I will share with others and will watch many times. Martin Sheen is such an amazing actor and his son Emilio is a great director and having them team up to make this movie, well all I can say is a big thank you.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2012
The Way is an understated but inspiring story of a man who has lost his son and gone to Europe to pick up his ashes. This man is a business man, not fit, not happy in his own life, and yet he ends up going on a pilgrimage called the Camino through the Pyrennes Mountains, hiking on foot in his dead son's clothing with his ashes in his backpack. The movie follows his emotional development through the weeks on the trail, and shows interactions with various characters along the way, each with their own reasons for wanting to transform themselves through this pilgrimage. The cinematography is stunning, the acting is first-rate, the casting was done really well, and the story is compelling. This is a movie I could watch over and over and never get tired of it. It makes you think about yourself, your own goals, what's on your Bucket List and all of that. For weeks after seeing it, I had the strongest urge to hike the Camino trail even though I am 66 and out of shape - hey, he did it. This is a quest story, a "hero's journey" movie, an archetypal mission for this man who tranforms by the end of the trail. I highly recommmend The Way with Martin Sheen.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2012
This is a beautifull movie about a man's journey along the Camino (the way) of Santiago de Campostela in Spain. It is a pilgrim route followed by pilgrims for years and Martin Sheen decides to walk the walk in the place of his son who died while walking the route. He carries his son's ashes with him. He meets other modern day pilgrims along the way - a battered Canadian woman, a heavy Dutchman and an Irish journalist - and they form a bond. The scenery is beautifull. The path undertaken - the change in the characters, especially our lead - is wonderfull. Just a beautifull journey to watch and be a part of. Makes us all want to walk the Camino. Loved it.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2012
From the very first minutes I was riveted to my seat watching this very touching movie. The story in this movie offers a sometimes gloomy, and sometimes a lighthearted picture of life, loss and attempts at redemption, forcing the emotions to alternate between crying and laughing. It is both very beautiful and also very sad. It tells us about our need to remove ourselves from the vicious cycle of modern life once in a while. It gives a lesson that's enticing, because it offers freedom, but it's not for the faint of heart. The Way is out there all the time, but only the brave will take it.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2012
As a learner on the path of life The Way spoke powerfully to me. I have several friends who have walked the Camino and the movie was very accurate. The fact that it was filmed on site gives a real authenticity. The characters are funny, witty, and representative of our fellow travelers through life. Martin Sheen is at his best. I had seen the movie in the theatre but I wanted to own it so I can watch again when I need to be reminded that life is a pilgrimage.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2012
Quite a delighful and refreshing video. A friend had recommended it and it arrived the next day from Amazon. Its about a father going to pick up his deceased son's remains after an accident and deciding to complete his son's trek. On the journey along the former pilgimage route to St James de Compostella in Spain , the father discovers not only insight into his son but himself along the way. Lovely scenery, colourful characters en route and a wonderful love story of father/ son relationship. I would definitely recommend it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2012
We have now watched it 3 times and thoroughly enjoyed. My friend who lives with my husband and I, will be walking the Camino in June with a some friends. I feel the movie captured the beauty of the country, the reality of the journey, the struggles and joys of the walk and the people you meet along the way. The story of a son's journey on the Camino being interrupted by his untimely death and the grieving father completing the journey for his son, who then discovers his own awakening. Well written and beautifully depicted.
I have occasionally wondered about the heritage of the Sheens. I remember an Irish interview with Martin Sheen many years ago where he claimed Irish yet also Mexican descent, and one of his sons who we know is named Sheen the other one Emilio Estevez. How does a father have sons with two different names. Sheen is an Irish name which may be a variant of Sheehan.
The Way features a father son collaboration with Emilio who also briefly plays his son in the piece, and directs. While modest in its aspirations, and I imagine its budget, it is spectacular in its accomplishment, and it's simple story of an 800 mile walking pilgrimage, capturing the essence of both good storytelling, why people go remarkably long pilgrimages, and captures a spiritual dimension, even though people do the pilgrimage for non spiritual reasons.
Approximately, 100,000 people a year take this pilgrimage which goes through Pamplona, famous for the bulls, so the pilgrimage is very popular, and undoubtedly this movie will inspire many people. I admit I felt an urge to take the trip.
When Tom, an opthalmologist, learns his free spirited son has died suddenly on the the El Camino Santiago trail he goes to Spain, and decides to complete his son's journey. Along The Way he meets some annoying but ultimately interesting characters, and they have a few adventures, realistic adventures that anyone could have.
Tom seeks solitude, but this proves elusive, and despite his reclusive ways things take on a life of their own. This movie has struck a chord with people, and the time of writing has about 1,400 reviews on Amazon USA mostly glowing.
I was impressed with the scenery, the architecture, the shenanigans. I particularly liked the subtlety of Martin Sheen's understated performance. It must be strange emoting about the loss of a son when that same son is directing the movie.
If you have ever thought about taking a pilgrimage, this will either fuel the urge or cure the urge. I loved the movie, and I think it did manage to capture the spiritual element which could be so easily missed, and that added something to the experience for me.
I think most people will love it.
Father/son team, Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez play the roles of Tom, a conformist ophthalmologist and his adventurous son, Daniel in this story. They have different outlooks on life that cause a lack of understanding between them. Tom wants Daniel to settle down into reality. Daniel wants to travel. While Daniel is away following his dream, Tom receives a phone call that Daniel has had a fatal accident on the Way of St. James Trail.
More than one message come from this movie. The first truth made clear is that each one of us is created uniquely and we have different perspectives on life and how to live it. Secondly, each of us must find our own path to a fulfilling, meaningful life. Thirdly, it's usually a challenge for us to accept others who are different than ourselves, but as we come to know and appreciate one another, we find life is richer, and we can form friendships with people unlike us. Fourthly, our search for meaning in life includes a spiritual journey, as well as a natural one. Lastly, growing and changing can go on for a lifetime.
The photography is fabulous, the storyline intriguing, revealing the undercurrents that run through our lives and contribute to who and what we are. The acting is first-rate and believable. There are a few curse words, but otherwise the movie is clean. I recommend it for older teens and adults.