|Looking For Infinity: El Camino . . .
||[Mar. 15th, 2017|09:10 am]
Phrembah (a potato-like mystery)
. . . is a pleasant (that's my new word for "not terrible") film that tries to be a bit more profound than it is. It's about walking the Camino Santiago or The Way of St. James which is a pilgrimage across northern Spain from east to west ending at a cathedral where St. James is said to have been buried. The pilgrimage is said to do everything from cleanse your soul to change your life to use up the rest of your IRA. The pilgrims featured in the film take it very seriously, some even spending the rest of their lives on or near El Camino.
This is not an uncommon theme. Emilio Estevez made a movie starring his father, called The Way, about a guy who does the pilgrimage in honor of his son who died making it. There are movies like Wild, about a woman who walks the Pacific Crest Trail (2,600+ miles) and lives (mostly) to tell about it. My favorite "walk yourself to death when you could have ridden" movie is Unbranded which is about six or seven guys who adopt and train 14 mustangs (essentially wild horses) and ride them across the Rocky Mountain West from Mexico to Canada. They did get to ride I guess, but it was still a major ordeal. And there's the Appalachian Trail and the Continental Divide Trail (essentially what the Unbranded guys did) all of which are well over 2,000 miles. Camino de Santiago, at 500 miles, kind of pales in comparison from a sheer "magnitude of undertaking" viewpoint. In these modrin times in which we live, none of these hikes is particularly life threatening with a little preparation and training. The lady in Wild is able to overnight some new boots to a rest stop from REI when she loses hers. The families of the Unbranded guys (ranchers all) bring them some new horses on the trail when they lose a couple to mishaps. And Camino Santiago is lined with villages with hostels and food stands and people willing to sell the pilgrims anything they need.
The whole point is that Camino Santiago might have deep spiritual significance because people have been doing it since before Europeans even knew there was an America to hike in, but there are much more strenuous and more spectacular journeys you can take to find yourself or prove yourself or entertain yourself or whatever you're up to or up for. Looking for infinity? Keep looking. But that's just me.
IMDB Meter: 65% (no Rotten Tomatoes listing) Phrembahmeter: 60%