Tracks: Review

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Based on the book by Robyn Davidson, Tracks tells the true story of her 1,700 mile trek across the Australian desert with four camels and her dog.

Whilst the story itself is remarkable, the film is not. It offers plenty of visual treats of the stunning and other-worldly Australian landscape, but not a lot else.

The main problem I had was that the film left me disengaged with the central characters. Its opening gave me hope of a strong and well rounded female character, but as her journey begins the story becomes torn between that and her relationship with photographer Rick Smolan.

It’s a shame because the character becomes reduced to the usual man-dependant woman, a Hollywood norm. It has nothing to do with the performances; both Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver are good in their roles, but the characters let them down.

I found Rick Smolan as annoying as everyone else did in the film and Davidson remained a mystery from beginning to end, the film never fully exploring the motive for her trek, or providing a satisfying arc to her character.

Because I didn’t care about the people on-screen I found it hard to engage with the film, and rather than a spiritual journey across the desert it simply remained a journey.

This being said, Tracks has its moments and actually brought me to tears at one point. But this was more to do with my love for animals than anything else, and the film failed to stir any emotions other than in these parts.

Tracks is great to look at and has a strong opening, but on a whole didn’t move me as much as it should have.



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