Heading 'Into the Wild' and finding 'The Way'

Sunday Afternoon Movie Review

The real drama of the journey of life ....

The real drama of the journey of life ....

So a few weeks ago whilst my husband and I were away on a trip to the States and staying in Napa Valley (more on that to come soon) we found ourselves staying a couple of nights at a heavenly, sleepy spa hotel with time on our hands to relax. Joy!

The hotel ran a somewhat old school, but truly delightful, free DVD rental service. Head to reception, choose a movie (one at a time!) and they will deliver it to your room with a free bucket of steaming, delicious, sweet popcorn ready for your viewing pleasure. Plus being Napa of course it must then be washed down with copious amounts of local wine!

It was bliss and after a crazy week previously, partying and enjoying the sights and sounds of New Orleans and Vegas, it was some much needed downtime.

The movie selection was a little obscure, some greats, but a lot of films we'd never heard of before. Dan (the aforementioned husband!) has a slight obsession with the IMDb movie database and set about highlighting on the list the titles that sounded most interesting (with my red lipstick arghh). He then joyously spent a good 30 minutes+ collating the various ratings and synopses together so that we could make an 'informed' decision! 

That decision turned out to be a great one.

The movie we picked was called 'The Way' a wonderful film, a journey, a tear-jerker and just captivating.

It tells the story of a father (Martin Sheen) who sets off to recover and bring home the body of his son (Emilio Estevez) who sadly died whilst attempting to walk the Way of St James or 'El Camino de Santiago' as it is sometimes better known - a pilgrimage beginning in France and ending in Spain that can take around 30-32 days on foot.

The relationship between father and son was hostile. Somewhat estranged with very different views on life and how to live it. They are worlds apart not just in true distance but in their thinking as well. Despite this, on arriving in France, Tom (the father) decides in his grief to walk the route himself with his sons ashes. This tribute to his son and his desire to complete this journey despite his own inexperience and ill-preparation leads Tom into an unexpected world of discovery himself. Not all together happy, at times very painful, but illuminating all the same.

I'm not going to lie, I cried on more than one occasion but I urge you to watch it if you get the chance as I really believe its story holds some truth for everyone. Don't be put off, it's actually a very funny and uplifting film despite its somewhat sad subject matter. You will be entertained and feel lifted having watched it.

Upon our return to the UK and with a new found thirst for hunting out older film titles that we hadn't heard of before in the hope of finding some more gems we came across 'Into the Wild.'

Another 'journey' and adventure drama, this film is based on the true story of Christopher McCandless a University graduate who, disillusioned with the world, gives his entire savings (some $24,000) to charity and sets off 'into the wild' to live in the inhospitable and uninhabited far reaches of Alaska. It follows him as he treks and hitchhikes his way to his chosen destination and meets many characters along the way. Characters who inform and shape his views on the world and indeed on life.

I won't ruin the ending but again I do urge you to watch it if you can get your hands on it. Another great and thought-provoking expedition well worth tucking in to!

So if you're looking for something a little different to enjoy one lazy Sunday afternoon then I don't think you can go wrong with either of these choices. Be prepared for some tears but also a worthwhile emotional journey portrayed elegantly through the medium of motion pictures.

If you have any suggestions for similar films, or just of some old favourites that we might not have seen but may well enjoy, let me know in the comments below. We do so love a good movie!