Tracks succeeds because the journey which Robyn Davidson made also becomes our journey. We are eager for her to prove all the naysayers wrong and overcome all the challenges of walking through some of the world’s harshest terrain.
The year is 1975. Robyn Davidson (Mia Wasikowska)arrives in Alice Springs with the goal of walking across the Australian desert through to the Indian Ocean. For the next two years she is tied down in an array of small jobs, desperately trying to raise the cash required to fund the journey. There is also a requirement to train up three camels, who will be joining her for the expedition as well as her trusted dogs. Through a colleague’s recommendation she writes to National Geographic asking for rights to her story. The approval is given and before long we are off.
Some people will not enjoy the slow pace. This film is telling a story about perseverance. There is no point speeding things up. Instead we get treated to beautiful, slow moving pans of Australia’s finest looking desert-no pun intended, Davidson’s skin darkening and plenty of regular visits from the National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan (Adam Driver).
I enjoyed being a part of the journey with these characters. At 113 minutes it can stretch your patience to the outer end; but it works so well. Director John Curran creates moments for reflection. These moments allow us to connect with everyone, from Robyn to the camels, all of whom are determined to come out of this journey more determined and resilient than ever before.
If you are after an inspirational movie, you will find it with Tracks.