Last night we watched the movie The Way which tells the story of an American doctor who goes to France to deal with the tragic loss of his son, who had been killed while hiking the famed pilgrimage route across Europe known as the Camino de Santiago. Rather than return home, the doctor decides to follow in his son’s footsteps and finish his journey. Through a variety of unexpected experiences along the way, he discovers the differences between “the life we live and the life we choose,” in the words of one of the characters in the film.
The Way was filmed entirely in Spain and France along the actual Camino de Santiago, which ends at the church in northwest Spain where the remains of the apostle St. James are said to lie. In an era in which it’s easy to step onto a plane and be deposited nearly anywhere in the world, the Camino de Santiago is a reminder of the power of pilgrimages taken slowly and deliberately. The path to Santiago de Compostela is meant to be walked, for the journey is as important as actually standing at the crypt of the apostle. Once all pilgrimages were like this, journeys that took weeks or months of hard travel. But of the three most famous Christian pilgrimages—to Jerusalem, Rome, and Santiago de Compostela—only the Camino has remained a route that many pilgrims take on foot. The movie beautifully shows the transformations that can happen along the way.
The Way is a powerful and inspirational story about family, friends and the challenges we face while navigating this ever-changing and complicated world. Martin Sheen plays Tom, an irascible American doctor who comes to France to deal with the tragic loss of his son (played by Emilio Estevez). Rather than return home, Tom decides to embark on the historical pilgrimage “The Way of St. James” to honor his son’s desire to finish the journey. What Tom doesn’t plan on is the profound impact this trip will have on him. Through unexpected and oftentimes amusing experiences along “The Way,” Tom discovers the difference between “the life we live and the life we choose.” Inexperienced as a trekker, Tom soon discovers that he will not be alone on this journey. On “The Way,” Tom meets other pilgrims from around the world, each with their own issues and looking for greater meaning in their lives: a Dutchman (Yorick van Wageningen), a Canadian (Deborah Kara Unger) and an Irish writer (James Nesbitt), who is suffering from a bout of writer’s block. From the unexpected and, oftentimes, amusing experiences along “The Way,” this unlikely quartet of misfits creates an everlasting bond and Tom begins to learn what it means to be a citizen of the world again. Through Tom’s unresolved relationship with his son, he discovers the difference between “the life we live and the life we choose.”
This movie drove home to us that some people live their lifes doing what they think they should do and kid themselves that they are living the life they chose.What would it be like to live the life you really want to live? Do you know what your perfect life looks like? If you don’t know, but would like to, contact us now .