dir: Emilio Estevez
Of all the people in the world available to direct films, you would think or hope that one of them wouldn't have to be Emilio Estevez, mega superstar of St Elmo's Fire and Young Guns fame. Estevez, one guesses, is somewhat forced to direct movies now because he's not inexplicably sought after like his drug addled brother Charlie Sheen, or as talented as his father Martin Sheen.
What better combination could there be than Estevez directing and Martin starring? Well, I guess they could have had Charlie playing a role too, maybe in the role as the lead female.
The Way is a movie about a father (Sheen) making a long pilgrimage to honour his son, who dies while on that same pilgrimage. It's not as complicated as it sounds. The father is a stodgy opthamologist who lives alone and plays golf solely to cover the fact that he has nothing else going on in his life. The only remaining family he has since his wife's death is his son Daniel (Estevez), the last contact with whom occurred when father was dropping son off at the airport. Son was all like "Dad, you should be totally out there living life and travelling and such" and the father is like "Buckle down, grow up, get a job you hate, work it for forty years, because that's what people do."
It's not an original dynamic, but in a flick like this, considering that in all sorts of stories like this, one of them has to die. They have to die after harsh words like that because then one of them can be left behind lamenting the fact that their last words to their loved one was something like "Get the shit out of your ears, dickhead, and get a job ya bum."
That's when you can really feel guilty. The son was off somewhere, but the dad didn't care. The son's constant travel and carefree ways brings nothing but misery to the father, but he's not going to have to worry about that anymore.
For reasons never explained, nor did they need to be, Daniel was off on a fairly well known pilgrimage that starts in France and ends in Spain that takes months to complete on foot. Well known to other people, I guess. I mean, I know I've done the pilgrimage at least a dozen times for sure, but perhaps the 'famous' Camino de Santiago de Compostela isn't that well known to others. It's also known as The Way of St James, hence the title. But maybe, just maybe, The Way also refers to "what is the best way to live?" or, "what is the best way to grieve for someone you loved but didn't like that much?"