I had a chance to see the movie “The Way” last night. I’d been waiting for months…half of me excited to see a movie about the Camino de Santiago, and the other half dreading how Hollywood might choose to portray it.
I was pleasantly surprised. Sure there were some issues. Anyone who has walked the Camino will see that some of the places were shown out of sequence to what they are in real life, one albergue was identified to be in a town other than what it really is, and a couple of times the pilgrims were walking in areas that aren’t actually a part of the trail (for cinematic effect I assume). Also, I’ve never met a Canadian like the one in this movie.
All that aside though, I thought the movie did a good job of portraying the spirit of the Camino, which for me is the most important thing.
The film certainly took me right back there. I’d see a picnic bench and remember the day I ate lunch there and who I was with. The scene in the Roncesvalles albergue brought back a memory of me lying in bed trying to figure out what the time signature was of the snoring symphony that I was being treated to.
After the movie, a group of us who’d walked the Camino plus one woman who is about to, gathered to enjoy some wine and tapas. All of us said the film made us want to go right out and buy a plane ticket to Spain. The pull of the Camino is strong and I can understand why some people return there again and again. My next Camino is likely still several years away, but there is no doubt in my mind that I will go back in the not too distant future. In the meantime, The Way gave me a much appreciated little fix.