ABOUT: THE WAY BACK
SOURCE: ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE
I saw 'The Way Back' a couple of days ago. It was a nice (if mild) subversion of the 'man with problems is tasked with fixing a team with problems, but then what he ends up fixing…is himself' genre of films.
I say mild because it doesn't quite go all the way with the subversion. It sticks to painting by the numbers for most of the script. And yet it definitely attempts to tread into new territory that makes it feel more interesting than other films of its ilk, and I respect that.
I love 'dark night of the soul' movies. They are endlessly relatable. There is never a character that is just going through it, taking a beating by life, that the audience doesn't feel a kinship with. It is a story as important as 'the hero's journey', because life is not all about a protaganist journeying outward to fight the world. It's also - and mostly - about us journeying inward to fight the inner demons.
At least life should be.
What I appreciate about 'The Way Back' is the way that it doesn't attempt to give the audience all the answers. There is no moment meant to make you cry tears of absolute joy or sorrow. If there is a message that the film seems contented to give, it's this:
"Life sure is rough, huh? Ah well. It's still worth living."