The Way" which stars his father, Martin Sheen, as a lonely widower grieving the sudden unexpected death of his only child. So as a special treat for ourselves, Tim and I ushered our children off to their respective rooms allowing them to read quietly to themselves while we popped the DVD in and settled on the couch for what we hoped would be an entertaining and inspiring Catholic movie like we had heard.
As far as being an interesting story with believable and
engaging characters, "The Way" did not disappoint. Sheen, who portrayed
Tom Avery, an American optometrist who embarks on an impromptu
pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago traveling by foot through
France and into Spain in honor of his recently deceased son, is a
talented actor who did well in the role. The movie follows him along
the real way of Camino de Santiago as he meets new friends, scatters his
son's ashes at places of special significance along the journey, and
mourns his loss quietly all the while. The fellow pilgrims he meets as
he walks are varied and eccentric adding a little humor to an otherwise
serious film. Avery shares the experience of his pilgrimage with a
fun-loving, outgoing, bear of a man from the Netherlands, a sarcastic,
independent young woman from Canada, and a boisterous and somewhat arrogant
writer from Ireland. His new friends accept Avery despite his moodiness
and emotional distance from them.
Overall, "The Way" was a
good movie, though not a great one. It was entertaining and held our
attention. The scenery was beautiful, even breath-taking at times.
The message of living life to its fullest and learning to accept others
where they are came through clearly. However, though obviously main
character Tom Avery was experiencing something meaningful and spiritual
in his pilgrimage, the movie itself was not particularly spiritual in
nature. God was not a focus, nor was the depth, beauty, and tradition
of Catholicism. The teachings of the Church were not adhere to or even
respected by the characters for the most part and the few moments of
prayer and contemplation were somewhat glossed over.
In short, I
found "The Way" a film worth watching but I would not necessarily classify it as a
Catholic film. Instead, I would consider it a well done and
thought-provoking mainstream movie with vaguely Christian themes and
brief positive references to Catholicism.
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