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The Art of Travel : Movie Review

May 14, 2009

There’s a quote in this movie which says, “The Art of Travel is to deviate rom the Current Plan.” It’s been over a month since I saw this movie directed by Thomas Whelan, yet I cannot forget that one rule which changes the course of life. “Art of Travel” is the story of a high school grad who discovers the pleasure of being on the road and in being itself. It’s also a story about backpackers and why they are so passionate about travelling.

Conner Layne (Christopher Masterson), a high school grad dumps his childhood sweetheart on the eve of their wedding and heads to Central America which he had hitherto planned for his honeymoon. However things take a different turn when he meets his fellow backpackers in quaint little towns and cities of Central America. After few months, he meets the Lorens who invite him to join their team and travel across the Darien Gap (Between Panama and Colombia). The only problem is, the journey will take more than a year and on unchartered territories without any roads and other comforts of being on road. So, does Conner become a part of this team? Will he wake up to the pleasure of being an adventurer? 

 Christopher Masterson, instantly reminds you of Neil Patrick Harris (the legendary Barney Stinson from HIMYM), without the awesomeness. But then, this film isn’t about scoring chicks or doing some boom-boom with fellow travellers. It’s about how get back to the road, the restlessness and the curiosity, eagerness to do more, to learn more. It’s about the compassion and the friendship which the team share for one another amidst the silent lurking dangers of the jungle. Brooke Burns (Darlene Loren) and Johnny Messner (Christopher Loren) share a great chemistry and they act as a great guiding force to Layne’s quest for knowledge and a new way of life. Angelika Libra (Anna) and the rest of the cast are quite competent.

This film boasts of some stunning cinematography especially in the latter part of the flick. The shots of Macchu Picchu haven’t looked that beautiful since “Motorcycle Diaries”. Thomas Whelan, the director and the co-writer of the film does a great job with his small cast and kudos to the other writer Brian LaBelle, who along with Thomas comes up with some brilliant lines. Check out that explanation about why one should travel. It’s the sort of thing which will convince almost anyone that they have to be constantly on the move.

Having said all these things, probably I should also add that, the film isn’t what it is 20 minutes into the story. It starts off on a great note, the tempo goes down a bit, but the ending is almost perfect! I guess, that’s the best we can get from this independent flick..:).  Don’t expect it to be like Motorcycle Diaries or Y tu mamá también, it’s quite different from both of them. If you have a penchant for travelling, then this is a must watch. Watch it anyway, perhaps this is one of the best road movies which hasn’t been in the limelight! Afterall, deviating from your current plan is a beautiful way of life.

P.S: We definitely need more movies like these! India, are you listening? 

5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 15, 2009 10:03 am

    Having a penchant for travel, I think I should not miss this movie.

    btw, I would like to suggest a movie to you. Have u seen, ‘Into the wild’ directed by Sean Penn?

    • Hemanth permalink*
      May 15, 2009 1:33 pm

      @ Anantha: I haven’t seen “Into the Wild” yet! Have been missing that flick for a long time. Thanks for reminding me about it!..:)

  2. May 15, 2009 12:18 pm

    Hi hemanth…I like your blog and the topics you write (movies and travel) are some of my personal favs!!

    looking fwd to more and more grt posts in this blog.


    • Hemanth permalink*
      May 15, 2009 1:34 pm

      @ Hari Kishore: Thanks a lot for your comment dude. I am glad that you liked my blog. I don’t travel much, hence, you won’t find too many posts on Travel on this blog. But will make sure I add as many posts on Travel as I can.

      Movies on the other hand..are..well, the blog is there to see!..:)

      Keep reading.

  3. Ash permalink
    December 21, 2009 7:41 am

    Watched this movie just last week and have watched it twice more. Admittedly, it isn’t a masterpiece, some parts of the movie annoy me, others are divine. The Macchu Picchu scenes are breathtaking, and there are some brilliant lines throughout. Hermanth, you couldn’t be more accurate in saying this movie inspires the viewer to take to the road. Seconds after watching ‘The Art of Travel’, I was already planning my very own unique travel experience. Great review on an enjoyable movie!

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