This movie is a personal redemption story similar to others such as Wild and Edie that have life changing impacts on the main characters. The backdrop is the 800 km Camino de Santiago (the Way of St James) from France through to Spain.
The movie starts off with Tom (Martin Sheen) receiving the news that his son Daniel (Emilio Estevez played by Sheen’s real-life son) has passed away due to extreme weather while walking the Camino. Upon arriving in France to bring his son’s body home he decides to undertake the trip in his son’s place, carrying his ashes with him. Totally unprepared, he sets off on his journey.
This film contains a good balance of humour and seriousness with Tom’s first night on the trail spent in a large dormitory, common along the journey, full of snoring and farting walkers. Just one of the many reasons I avoid communal sleeping.
Along the way he meets up with, and ends up walking with, three others. The group of three consists of an overweight, drug smoking Dutchman, an angry Canadian woman and a crazy Irishman all with personal reasons for undertaking this ‘pilgrimage’.
The movie is not so much about the scenery or even the walk itself but rather about the mental journey, and what each of the walkers learns along the way. While the walk officially finishes in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, northwestern Spain, Tom plans to continue on to the sea to spread the last of his sons ashes. Eventually his companions agree to join him.
By the end of the trip each member of group has learnt a lot about themselves as well as their companions and have grown emotionally and mentally in the process. Tom’s epiphany is realisation that just living is not enough and you need to enjoy your life to its fullest.
I originally didn’t think I was going to like this movie as the Camino is not my style of walking and not a trip high on my bucket list but not far into watching it I realised I was really enjoying this journey. While not an expose on the Camino, this is an enjoyable and thought provoking movie that is well worth a look.
When ordering DVDs and Blue Ray please check you order the correct format for your country
If you have watched The Way we’d like to hear from you. Post your comment or questions below
Please note that our affiliations do not influence, in any way, the independence of our reviews. If we don’t like a product, you’ll hear about it from us!
Under $12.00 AUD on DVD
The Way DVD
This review was done with product purchased by Australian Hiker