Where There’s a Will…
There comes a time when redemption calls and the road of destruction comes to a dead end. ‘The Way Back‘, starring Ben Affleck, gives us a windshield view of this journey, and how difficult, yet possible it is to find our way back forward.
In “The Way Back”, Jack Cunningham (Ben Affleck), is struggling to stay afloat in life. A former high school basketball player-of-the-year turned construction worker, Jack struggles with alcoholism, grief, and a broken marriage. He can barely take a shower without his trusty can of beer, and seems the least likely candidate to take over as head coach of his alma mater’s fragile basketball team.
But, Jack miraculously accepts the job – and that’s when things get interesting. Interestingly worse.
The Unpaved Road to Redemption
While everyone loves an underdog sports team and their battle for respect – as seen in movies a million times – Director Gavin O’Connor kept the focus on Jack and his journey back versus turning the movie into a sports buzzer-beating cliche’. Young viewers will get a kick at the basketball players, with characters we’ve all grown to know and love – from the campus ladies’ man, the chubby funny guy, to the one with pure talent without familial support.
But, with this intense focus on Jack’s rollercoaster ride of destructive decisions, one of the most painful, yet poignant truths viewers will see is this: Helping others find their way back won’t guarantee your passage to freedom by default. A much stockier Affleck makes this point crystal clear, drawing from his own personal struggles with alcohol and loss.
So, if you’ve ever wondered what it looks like for a lonely, depressed alcoholic, who’s lost his way, to confront his demons, grab your popcorn and take a seat in theatres nationwide on March 6th. Will Jack find the road to redemption and the courageous will to walk it?
Rated R for strong language