Every Sunday, ATRESplayer Premium will release a new episode of this series retracing the years of the Destroy Route
One last crazy night, one last dance together. It’s 1993, and a group of friends gather at the Puzzle nightclub to enjoy their buddy Marc Ribó’s farewell session. He’s one of the most famous DJs on the Valencian club scene and already two businessmen from Ibiza are keen to poach him. In just a few hours, the destinies of Marc (Àlex Monner), Toni (Claudia Salas), Sento (Ricardo Gómez) and Nuria (Elisabet Casanovas) will diverge, perhaps forever, after almost a decade making the pilgrimage from one party to the next with each other. They’ve come of age at the same time as what’s known as the Ruta del Bakalao (the Bakalao Route, aka the Ruta Destroy or the Destroy Route). And it’s precisely this route that is traveled in the series La Ruta (The Route), which was recently released on ATRESplayer Premium, with a new episode to drop every Sunday.
This production by Caballo Films (Riot Police, Que Dios nos perdone, Madre), created by Borja Soler and Roberto Martín, doesn’t conceal the more controversial side of the Destroy Route, namely the mega-raves in parking lots with their trademark ‘bakalao’ music in the background and drugs galore. But it also delves into the least known part of the movement – its cultural and transgressive side – because this phenomenon went much further than Chimo Bayo’s well-known ‘Hu-ha’ and the Canal+ documentary that shocked parents in the 90s. The most interesting thing about La Ruta is that thanks to its moving vignettes of the lives of these friends from the Valencian town of Sueca, it manages to reflect this reality without romanticizing the past, and also without any moral browbeating.
It doesn’t matter that you know from the outset where this journey ends, because what’s interesting is the path the characters take to get there. Indeed, the teaser for the first episode leaves you wanting to know more about that other, interior journey that these young people are undergoing. And that evolution, along with their fears, insecurities and frailties, are perfectly portrayed by the five lead actors, all of whom are very convincing – in Spanish as well as Valencian (throwing around slang terms like ‘tetes’ and ‘nanos’) – though none of them actually lived through those years.
Attention to detail, realistic portrayal
The setting of La Ruta also deserves special mention for the obvious attention to detail, right from the soundtrack, which goes beyond just the well-known bakalao, through to the recreation of the most iconic clubs of the era. You can tell the series was shot where it all actually took place (mainly Valencia, Sagunto, Sueca and Ribarroja) and that the team has really done its homework. In fact, Fran Lenaers, one of the best-known DJs on the Destroy Route, helped the actors discover the art of mixing music. Also collaborating on the production, by sharing their memories and anecdotes, were the owners of some of the most popular venues of the time – Puzzle, Espiral, N.O.D, ACTV and Chocolate.
Although this visit to the Valencia movement of Marc Ribó and his friends ends with just these eight episodes, the creators have already revealed the story will continue in Ibiza. Here’s to new routes as daring and exciting as this one – the best kind of nostalgia!