Director John Curran’s Tracks is a brilliant film, tracing the real-life heroic adventure of Robyn Davidson, who trekked 1,700 miles across Western Australia over a period of nearly 9 months in 1977.
Haunted by the suicide of her mother and the “putting down” of her dog, when Robyn was a young girl, she entered her mid-20s as a loner. It was then that, in some respects, emulating her father, who had trekked an African desert as a young man, Robyn truly wanted to get away from it all.
Marion Nelson’s sparse, but excellent screenplay quickly details the nearly two year period of Robyn’s learning how to break and handle wild camels, which are strangely plentiful in that region of Australia. Then, thanks to a grant from National Geographic Magazine, she sets off on her journey to the Indian Ocean with 4 camels and her dog Diggity.
Mia Wasikowska is awesomely wonderful as Robyn and is worthy of every possible accolade for her Splendid performance.
Adam Driver is, also, excellent as the photographer from National Geo, who meets her several times along her odyssey and ends up falling in love with her.
But, as good as Driver’s character is, we empathize with Robyn, when she asks a stranger how one tells a really nice guy that you want to kill him if he doesn’t leave you alone. That’s because the film is at its best, when Mia and her animals are on their own, being captured, wonderfully, in magical landscapes by Cinematographer Mandy Walker.
Though Robyn crosses a dry land, there is nothing dry about this fabulous film. Young women, especially, will be moved by the ingenuity and determination of this true heroine.
I give Tracks a 4+ out of 5.