Film Review – Tracks – Directed by John Curran
Release Date March 6th 2014
This film really is a piece of art in the way that it leaves so much of the proceedings open to interpretation by the viewer.
Just as Saving Mr Banks invited the audience to interpret PL Travers ownership of her story Mary Poppins as a daughters love letter to her father, so to Tracks allows the cinematic audience to interpret and psychoanalyze the actions of Robyn Davidson who trekked 1700 miles across Western Australia for 197 days in 1977 accompanied just by four camels and her dog.
It’s a romantic notion particularly in this day and age where many of us can’t bear to part with our smart phones for more than a few minutes. To turn one’s back on civilization, our family and friends and embark on a journey of self discovery with only the elements ( and five animals) for company.
To put it bluntly in the eyes of this film she was so traumatized by the suicide of her mother when she was only 6, that she became a hard soul who would not easily crack and she wanted to put herself and her hardness to the test by challenging the universe to try and break her even though she was already a broken person.
She felt so alone that she wanted to put herself in a position where she actually was in every sense of the word – alone – out in the wide dry expanse of the western desert heading for the west coast.
One of the first shots in the film is of a black dog – Diggetty – a metaphor for the depression that has lurked below the surface for most of Robyn’s life.
Given the circumstances surrounding the fate of her childhood dog, it’s no wonder she is so close to this dog.
Mia Wasikowska is brilliant as the troubled, enigmatic and triumphant Davidson, and Driver holds his own as National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan.
Entirely captivating, thoroughly intriguing and enchanting to watch as the journey unfolds meeting some really solid supporting characters, this is a must see film about a woman, her will to survive and the Australian landscape.