Tracks is an achingly beautiful representation of the concept of isolation, set in rural Australia the only thing that will keep you alive is your own will to live. Based on the remarkable true story of Robyn Davidson, Tracks will take you on a journey, one that you will not want to go one, but one that you will be glad that you did.
Producer Emile Sherman said, “Sometimes, to work out who you actually are, yo need to put all distractions aside”, and that is exactly what Davidson did as the 25 year old set out on the 2,700km journey. The storyline is basic, yet effective, it is entirely up to the opinion of the audience to understand exactly why Davidson is making this journey, some would interpret it as she is following in her father’s shoes, who is a great explorer. I, however, would say that the entirety of the journey is for one simple purpose, to find herself. Even though this journey is not entirely physical, in fact it is more the emotional journey than the physical, it still lacks essential plot points that are used to keep the pace upbeat and interesting. There are many moments during the film at which it felt incredibly slow, as we start to wonder if she is just going in circles. In saying this, the film is incredibly beautiful, filled with many cinematic shots of the outback of Australia, the deep red sand beneath her feet, the cracked desert plains, every scene is extremely rewarding in the visuals, and that alone is worth the price of admission. Cinematographer, Mandy Walker, has done an outstanding job, making the landscape the main attraction of the film. This is what, in my opinion, makes this film so good, how director, John Curran, has represented both Davidson’s journey and her state of mind through the deserted lands, completely empty and without meaning, but still, in an eery way, utterly stunning.
The supporting characters that appear throughout the story, in short duration, bring different personalities and are utterly charming, but that is not what the story is about. The story isn’t about Davidson’s relationship with other people, its about her own identity, finding it , forging it, recovering it. In saying this, each character is essential to the backbone that forms the motivation that Davidson has in completing her journey, mainly the characters that input doubt in her, believing that there is no possible way that she would be able to complete it. Every actor and actress fills the shoes of their role perfectly, providing for an extremely portrayal of these characters, in particular Mia Wasikowska. With the majority of the camera being pointed at her, the subtle gentle emotions and movements are used to distinguish the story in another aspect, and she pulls it off remarkably. While the scene depicts Davidson in complete silence, in the middle of a desert plain with her camels and her dog, Diggity, it is Wasikowska, who shows the true pain of the journey. The continual wincing with every step, showing the incredible weight of the expedition, her back starting to become as red and cracked as the ground that she walks on, the decrease in the amount of attention she gives to the clothes she wears, Davidson becomes a walking figure of art. Such a journey, in nowadays, is seemingly impossible through the digital connectivity that we experience today, it is impossible to disregard all distractions and exploit yourself to the harsh climate of isolation. This is why this film is so worthwhile, as it is unique, it is a simple concept, yet forces the audience to reflect on their own life, rethinking their motivation methods for day to day life, it will make you rethink your very own character and that is a remarkable thing to pull off.
Tracks takes you on a journey, sure there is a couple of bumps in the road that detour it from being one of the stand out films of the year, but nonetheless, it is definitely worth your money. The incredibly influential expedition that Davidson takes on does not only affect her own state of mind, but rather the motivational capabilities of modern day audiences.
I give this film 8/10.