“No Way Home” a film and the truth for many (a film with Tim Roth)
I most appreciate serious dramas depicting well the reality of human experience – such is the case in the excellent film No Way Home, starring Tim Roth as a young man just released from prison.
An incredible performance of tender pathos by Roth, his portrayal of Joey communicates such realism, as does the rest of the cast. This is a gem of a movie.
A film I viewed several years ago, I just watched it again for it is one well worth viewing more than once, and I highly recommend it. The situation – the characters – the dilemma of a man whose loyalty and concern for his brother has, in the past, outweighed and harmed his own life significantly is presented with such building tension moment by moment in the film. I found the development perfectly paced – indicative of Joey’s adjustment, trying to make a life for himself, and yet again with the ever increasing oppressive burden of his last remaining family more concerned for them-self than at all for Joey’s life now that he is released.
Throughout my life, I’ve been pained to see not only how the incarcerated are treated, but also the hardships facing them once released. It is disgusting what a big business enterprise prisons have become, and how so many, unless personally affected in some way, turn their backs on those placed there both while they are incarcerated and following their release. Hope does remain alive in some individuals despite the many punishments within and outside the penal system, including from those you would think would care for them – their very family. Love seeks to help the heart who seeks to grow, fear seeks only to condemn and punish and ignore. The penal system appears often sadly based on the latter, as are attitudes of many people who judge and condemn both stranger and relative alike. Thus, a criminal record, is often the bane of one’s life for years to come. But it need not be so to the degree each individual chooses to love.
I particularly empathize with the plight of prisoners, for over the years, I’ve became well aware of their hardships. During incarceration and following release, persons seeking to make their life their own, who just seek a chance, who need understanding – not judgment often return to the very places and people which one way or another contributed to their situation to begin with. Many have dreams, aspiring to use or obtain their education, gain employment, regain their family, and just make a clean start…if but given the chance.
Such is the case with “Joey” (Tim Roth) in No Way Home. His is a sad return…a return to only his brother, as his mother died while he was incarcerated…and his brother remaining the source of much of the distress and hell Joey has experienced.
What is “home” when it means returning to the very person or persons (even partially or nearly wholly) responsible for the path your life has already taken?
Joey’s experience in prison was not the first of his being victimized, but a continuation of suffering had at home, and to which he must return – a family consisting now of only his big brother, Tommy, played well by James Russo, but with a mutual beneficial relationship development between Joey and Tommy’s wife Lorraine (played well by Deborah Kara Unger).
I will not elaborate upon the story in greater detail, as it is a poignant story, which I highly recommend. One of a young man seeking only to return home, get honest work, and get on with his life. Some heart-wrenching dialogue in this moving story, indicative of all that is gone once sentenced to prison…with the caveat you’ll learn when viewing which makes Joey’s predicament all the more tumultuous.
But I will say this – the story is representative of many men and women released from prison – where do they go – is there a way back home…and is it really a home worth returning to? When it’s all you have, you go where there’s family, where you’re known…but as with Joey, it may hinder establishing a healthy life if those around you are living just the opposite.
Loyalty to oneself, when we are referring to all matters involving the truth and its repercussions when not embraced, must trump the “loyalty” which is the emotionalism many family members expect you to have even whilst mistreating you. To me, a powerful lesson is communicated in this film, a lesson very few ever grasp and thus they needlessly suffer by allowing family to mistreat, lie, and otherwise hurt them and the victim simply let’s it happen due to societal obligation.
Sometimes home is as far as away you can get from those related to you by blood.
I highly recommend No Way Home, a sad, and sadly true to life, story…a gem of a movie.
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