A 1,700 mile trek across some of Western Australia’s deserts may not sound like everyone’s idea of fun, but ‘Tracks’ is the true story of one lady, Robyn Davidson and her attempt to do just that, with an entourage of four camels and Diggity the dog in tow.
Whilst Mia Wasikowska seems excellently cast as Robyn, the film’s success is every bit as much due to our emotional investment in and attachment to the five animals that make the journey with her. It soon becomes apparent as the terrain becomes more inhospitable and unforgiving that it’s the animals’ reactions and instinctive behaviour under such conditions that are just as important to the adventure as the physiological and psychological issues that unfold for Robyn herself.
It’s not so much a story of wanderlust, but of the need to get away from everything and more importantly everyone, but there’s a gradual realisation for Robyn that although her journey is indeed about removing herself from the company of other people and the many negatives that they represent in her mind, it’s this intense, extended period of relative isolation, as well as chance encounters with both native Aboriginals and well meaning folk along the way, that ultimately reaffirms her need for people too.
‘Tracks’ is a beautiful film in many ways, not least for the majestic cinematography and the engaging animal scenes throughout; a visually exquisite, life-affirming, beautiful film.