The Way review by Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso
The Way is an on-foot take on the average road movie that sees a grieving father, played by Martin Sheen, walking the mythical Spanish pilgrimage route “Camino de Santiago” continuing a trail started by his now deceased adult son, played by Sheen’s own son and director of the movie Emilio Estevez.
The movie is a fairly run of the mill father-son story, which, unlike the classic Fonda movie On Golden Pond is not made more interesting by the appearance of a real father and son duo.
Throughout the movie, the distant and emotionally difficult father begins to learn to open up to people and regrets his lack of an emotional relationship with his son. Estevez appears to his father in flashbacks throughout the movie that, in all honesty, could have been left out entirely, in which his father realizes both the failings of himself and his child.
Whilst on his journey Sheen encounters a handful of other characters who accompany him on his journey, these characters range in depth and believability and once again, could quite easily have been left out of the piece all together. In fact, had the piece been more of a solitary journey of contemplation I think it would have served the issues the narrative tries to raise in a more honest and simple way than the finished piece ever could.
Despite the film’s lack of presence, a feat normally so effortless for Sheen, the movie is touching in places and the love and care Estevez clearly had for the piece is obvious, but ultimately, it remains inescapably predictable and under-whelming throughout.