A road movie on foot - MicealJ
When I first saw “The Way” in the Dublin Film Festival two things did strike me – one, “I really must do this” and two “The critics are going to hate this”. Surprisingly though “The Way” has not got the slating I expected, well not entirely. Most of the reviews have been pretty lukewarm but there is a general consensus that this is a harmless way to spend an afternoon. There isn't much to the film really, the plot is as bland as its title – Martin Sheen walks the Camino way in place of his dead son and meets three convenient stereotypes to share his journey. The situations are contrived, the dialogue is awkward at times and Martin Sheen has a drunk scene every bit as bad as his drunk scene in “Apocalypse Now” was good. (Mind you he was actually drunk for that one.) In the end though, none of this matters. Sheen is one of those actors you can't help but warm to no matter who he's playing and while his companions may be a cynical Canadian; a drug-fuelled Dutchman and an – Irishman, they're all good company and this is a very pleasant road-trip.
Emilio Estevez described his film as a love letter to Spain and that is exactly what it is. Every opportunity to fill the screen with pretty pictures is used, every landscape, every local village, every local local is strikingly picturesque –and all that is as it should be. The story, the characters – they're all just there as an excuse to show off the Camino – and to make you want to go. It worked on me.
Review published on the 20 May 2011 14:34
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