There seems to have been a slew of films about journeys or pilgrimages from American film makers lately. Either that or I’ve just started noticing them. At any rate, I haven’t seen any as good as The Way.
The film, written by Emilio Estevez (who I had no idea could actually write), is the story of a man who finds himself walking El Camino de Santiago following the death of his son on the pilgrimage, and whereas most of these pilgrimage films I’ve been seeing are either a little light on character or a little too heavy, The Way has just the right balance, and drives forward beautifully, even surviving some very obvious product placement.
It could be a tearjerker if you’re that way inclined, but unlike others that could fit that bill, it doesn’t go out of its way to try to generate a deeper pathos than is necessary, and this is so very refreshing, especially from the Americans. This is the kind of story I want to be able to write.
Of course, the problem with pilgrimage films is that they give me itchy feet, but I always seem to be wanting to go somewhere, so I don’t suppose that matters much. Anyone want to join me in Spain in a decade or two?