Tuesday, October 18

Movie Review: The Way Heartland Film Festival 2011

"The Way" is written and directed by Emilio Estevez, ("Bobby" 2006) and stars Martin Sheen (Apocolypse Now 1979, The American President 1995) as the play-it-safe father, Tom Avery. Son Daniel, portrayed by Estevez, has a different outlook on life. In fact, they are polar opposites. As Daniel explains to his life-numb dad, "You don't choose a life, you live one."

Ironically, Tom is an opthalmologist who helps his patients see things much more clearly than he sees things himself.

Wrapped up in his country-club lifestyle, Tom receives the call every parent fears.

Flying to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to retrieve his son's body, Tom learns Daniel died while taking the Christian pilgrimage known as Camino de Santiago, The Way of Saint James, or "The Way" for short. It involves trekking across 800 kilometers of Spain's countryside with the end destination of the Santiago de Compostela cathedral in Galicia.
Receiving the ultimate seal of approval, a golden, heart-shaped wreath, during Indianapolis' Heartland Film Festival this year, is a sure sign the film is going to touch you emotionally. Truly Moving Pictures awards the wreath to movies believed will touch viewers and make a difference in the world.
The personal triumphs, setbacks and internal healing throughout the journey will have you near tears more than once. To avoid creating a film too depressing to watch, Estevez wisely allows Sheen's charm and one-line quips to lighten the mood.
Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez in "The Way"
Helping in that respect are fellow travelers, a Dutch marijuana enthusiast (Yorick van Geningen) who 
has a penchant for eating, an angry young Canadian woman (Deborah Kara Unger) and a creative writer form Ireland (James Nesbitt) who comes along the trip to find a new storyline.

The mood of the film boomerangs, logically, as the various characters deal with their inner demons. To have it any other way would have been a false path to choose, and as fans of Estevez knows, he stays true to a story line.
Bottom Line: See. It. Now. "The Way" celebrates life and death, bringing forth emotions you had forgotten.


*Opening October 21 in theaters across the United States.
Photos: Submitted by production
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Gotta Go is published in M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

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