Summary: A young Australian woman treks 1,700 miles from Ayers rock across the deserts of Western Australia until she reaches the ocean. Robyn Davidson (Mia Wasikowska) starts by working with local farms in hopes to strike up a deal with a farmer to pay her 2 camels instead of cash. She plans for the camels to carry her stuff whilst making the trek, as well as taking along her dog Diggity. Determined and ignoring some of her friend and family’s dissuasion, she’s introduced to an awkward photographer (Adam Driver) who’s fascinated with her and her aim. He encourages her to contact the National Geographic, which she reluctantly follows, who accept to sponsor her on the terms that the awkward photographer, Rick Smolan, captures her journey along the way.
My Review: Having spent the good part of a year in Australia previously (in fact Tracks was released when I was over there) it’s stunning to believe this is actually based on a true story. The harsh toll this must have taken on the woman, that took a whopping 9 months to complete, is astounding in itself. Yet, sadly I think, this impenetrable sense of just how hard and dangerous this must have been doesn’t quite get delivered through the film. The outback is ridiculously hot and unforgiving and whilst the film does ‘there’s more desert than further the eye can see’ well, the impact of heat exhaustion from temperatures hitting 50°C doesn’t quite cut it for me. Maybe it’s because she wasn’t entirely alone (as the photographer keeps track of her) or this detail wasn’t worked on enough in Tracks, her hair for instance stays the same length throughout the film. Having thought this was a Hollywood production pre-watching, I can say however that certain Australian essence has been captured well. Although it’s not quite the epic I was expecting it to be.
My Rating: 2/5
Know of any great Australian films? Give me your recommendations below!