The Way – A hiking movie?

MST - Laurel Gap Shelter


I saw the movie, The Way, this weekend. It was billed as an inspirational story about a doctor who ends up walking the Camino, the Way of St. James in Spain.

Yes, it was an inspirational story and the main character, Martin Sheen, changed, as he was supposed to, in a story about a journey. But it was also a realistic hiking story.

Tom, the Martin Sheen character, is a 60+ year-old doctor who has obviously never done anything physical in his adult life, except play golf using a golf cart.

Yet, once he decides to walk the El Camino, he does it. He meets three other pilgrims, as walkers on the El Camino are called, much younger than him. My favorite companion is Joost, a Dutchman with great kindness and humor. He’s the one I’d want with me on my hike.

Yet, Tom, (Martin Sheen) doesn’t drag behind them; in fact he leads the pack because he is determined – I don’t want to give away too much of the story. There are no jokes or incidents where he plays the old man. The reality of hiking is that age has little to do with it. What matters is how fit and how motivated you are to walk.

The second thing in the movie’s favor is that not everyone changes. There is so much emphasis on long-distance walking or hiking being life changing that it’s a pleasure to see that people stay basically who they are.

If you plan a long-distance hike to change your life, you may be disappointed. Sometimes, no, most of the time, a hike is just a hike. Enjoy it!

This is a great but a quiet movie. It’s the kind of movie that can only be marketed by word of mouth. And that’s what I’m doing.  


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *