Starring Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver
Directed by John Curran
What negative thing could I possibly say about Tracks? Fine, there is one in Adam Driver, the second lead to Wasikowska’s character Robyn Davison. He plays Rick Smolan, a photographer who has to go with Robyn in her National Geographic-sponsored journey to cross the harsh Australian desert. Driver can only really play one type of character – the guy rambling non-sequiturs that would annoy Robyn and the audience.
I like how the movie is loyal to the real-life events. Rick isn’t the only person intermittently accompanying her in this gruelling journey. She also runs into settlers and Aboriginals. The movie examines the customs of different people and how they occassionally clash with the sometimes oppressive, xenophobic, urban Australians. Wasikowska delicately plays Robyn as someone who intelligently and respectfully treads every step of her journey. The movie also makes it compelling by incorporating flashbacks of her explorer father and broken, drifting childhood. After the flashbacks, the camera returns to Wasikowska and it’s as if she has lived those memories.
I would also like to applaud the cinematography, also loyal to Smolan’s brilliant photographs of Robyn’s trek with her camels. The movie depicts what could be a setting of a meditative, peaceful Western where Robyn’s worst enemies are nature and herself. We never give up on her even when she repeatedly faces hurdles that make her want to. And the last images top the movie off to give us a beautiful experience.