Emilio Estevez directs dad Martin Sheen in measured hiking drama
How strange that The Way should emerge just as Charlie Sheen – brother, of course, to writer/director Emilio Estevez and son to star Martin Sheen – has completely gone off the rails. Estevez’s second film, following the impressive Altman-like Bobby, this wholesome piece about faith, grief and mortality is about as far removed from Charlie’s sordid antics as you could hope to get.
Sheen Snr plays an American doctor named Tom who arrives in the Pyrenees following the death of his adult son (Estevez, seen briefly), who was killed during a freak storm while walking the Camino de Santiago. A Christian pilgrimage route that leads to the Cathedral Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain, the uptight Tom decides to complete the walk and scatter his son’s ashes.
Along ‘the way’, as its called, there’s a dope-smoking Dutchman (Yorick van Wageningen), a blocked Irish writer (James Nesbitt) and a Canadian (Deborah Kara Unger) with a rucksack full of emotional baggage to accompany Tom during what must be the slowest road movie ever made. The humour, like the pace, is gentle, and the running time, like the route, is long. But if you’re looking for a quiet, contemplative film, then this is the way to go.
Selected release from Friday 13 May.