Tracks is an adaptation of Robyn Davidson’s memoir of the same name, chronicling the author’s nine-month journey from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean. Back in 1977 she decided to undertake the trek across the outback with just her dog and four camels. John Curran’s film is a more of a docudrama than a thriller, but Tracks is an impressive testimony to the strong will and determination of one person’s single-mindedness.
Mia Wasikowska delivers the best performance of her career in the lead role. She is joined along the way, as part of the funding Robyn secures from the National Geographic, by a bumbling photographer (Adam Driver) and an Aboriginal elder (Roly Mintuma). Whist she has help along the way, this really is the story of one woman’s great spirit and resolve. The reasons behind the trip are never really explained, apart from the need to be alone; whether it was out of fatalism, a need to discover something about herself, or the desire to show what she could achieve on her own.
Whilst Curran’s film takes its time and there’s no high drama as such, it’s hardly plain sailing. Accompanied by her loveable dog Diggity and a rather unhappy camel, this is a tale of loneliness and perseverance; a loneliness which doesn’t come from just being on your own. There’s a great respect for the Aboriginal peoples, and the discrimination of the day is not passed over. Neither is the masculine nature of Australian society in the ‘70s.
Tracks is a lovely film and out now in your local cinema.