The Way

The Way is a fairly simple movie that tells of a father’s journey after the death of his son. He ends up completing the route (a Catholic pilgrimage) his son was taking – the Santiago de Compostela route which ends at the Cathedral in Galicia, Spain.

The movie is really like a factual documentary in a way. It isn’t always redeeming – but is more real life in the way the movie plays out. It has some good moments and some great scenery. 

The Wikipedia summary is very accurate. The odd thing is that the movie has a 12 rating. I would hardly give it a PG!

Having said that, it will probably mainly work for older young people as it’s not a fun action-packed movie!

NB. Contains Spoilers Alerts !

Choosing to Live

Chapter 2 (00:14:27) – Chapter 3 (00:20:00)

In the movie, Tom’s son is killed and he has to go to France to sort out what to do. He meets a policeman who helps him and support him during his difficult time. Tom finds out that his son was doing a long walk called the ‘Camino de Santiago’ or ‘The way of St James’ (as in James who wrote a book in the New Testament). 

Tom makes a decision – he is going to do the walk in place of his son, taking his son’s ashes with him so that his son can also do the Caminoi de Santiago. Tom chooses life. We should always choose life too. Keep moving forward with God.

Dealing with Genuine Discrimination and Prejudice

Chapter 9 (01:24:40 – 01:33:10)

A gypsy boy steals Tom’s bag. But the boy’s father makes the boy take the bag back and invites Tom and his companions to a party in the gypsy part of the town. This forces Tom and his colleagues to face their prejudices and re-assess them.

People and Team

Chapter 9, from 01:33:11 to 01:36:57 and on if you’d prefer (includes a funny shot of them going to the toilet by the side of the road!)

One thing I love about the movie is the way in which the 4 travelling companions bond together. They do this because of the fact (and in spite of the fact) that they are together all the time, on a journey with a purpose. Surely this is what church should be like! Even when the four reach a fancy hotel and get separate rooms, they get bored and end up spending time together! 

Prayer, Confession, God, Spirituality

Chapter 10 (01:41:12) – 01:44:20 and then 01:46:50 – Chapter 11 (01:53:06)

This shows the guys going to place their ‘rocks’ at the foot of a cairn of rocks and make a confession and say a kind of prayer (well, Tom and one other do). Then they get to the Cathedral at the end of their journey and each one is moved and has an experience of God – kneeling, crying, praying, overwhelmed by God’s awe. It’s quite a moving part of the DVD.

This includes one confession (from James Nesbitt) about some of the harm the church has done.

The Journey Continues

Chapter 12 (01:55:26 – 02:00:33)

The journey ends with Tom bringing Daniel home and scattering his ashes.

The journey continues with Tom still on a journey – this time down through Africa…

Other Issues

The movie also deals with:

– People’s motives for life (we see this in Chapter 11 from 01:53:07 onwards)

– Domestic violence and its effect (end of Chapter 7, early Chapter 8)

– Drunken-ness and dealing with grief (Chapter 8 and into Chapter 9 as Tom talks about his son)

– Tom is also forced to decide what matters in life and humble himself (after he gets drunk)