THE WAY(M) is a powerful and inspirational story about family, friends and the challenges we face while navigating this ever-changing and complicated world.
Martin Sheen plays Tom, an irascible American doctor who comes to France to deal with the tragic loss of his son (played by Emilio Estevez who also wrote and directed the movie). Rather than return home, Tom decides to embark on the historical pilgrimage “The Way of St. James” to honor his son’s desire to finish the journey. What Tom doesn’t plan on is the profound impact this trip will have on him.
THE WAY is a road movie that traverses some truly inspiring countryside through France and Spain. But landscape alone does not fuel this journey, rather the odd assortment of characters that Tom encounters, wanted or not.
First to foil any semblance of solitude is Joost, a fat and jolly Netherlander played with gusto by Yorick van Wageningen. He is on pilgrimage in an effort to lose weight – a losing battle. Then there is acerbic chain smoking Canadian shrew, Sarah, played by Deborah Unger, and finally, Irish Jack, (James Nesbit) hoping to open his writers block.
Nice work also from Tcheky Karo as the sympathetic French detective who aids Tom at the beginning of the film.
Sheen’s Catholicism shines through but does not blind the audience into conversion. This is not the road to Damascus, more a yellow brick road, a retelling of The Wizard of Oz, with a cranky Dorothy, and a trio of travellers who need to find a brain, a heart and some nerve.
© Richard Cotter
4th May, 2012
Tags: Sydney Movie Reviews- THE WAY, Emilio Estevez, Martin Sheen, Deborah Kara Unger, Sydney Arts Guide, Richard Cotter.