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article imageReview: ‘Tracks’ traces a predictable but profound path Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Jun 8, 2014 in Entertainment
‘Tracks’ is the expectable chronicle of a young woman’s 1,700 mile journey across the harsh deserts of West Australia with four camels and her dog.
There are people born in this world who find it in themselves to do the seemingly impossible. Often overcoming overwhelming adversity, they prove wrong the naysayers and accomplish a feat that few thought possible. It requires steadfast determination and an unbreakable will. Tracks is based on the true story of a young woman who succeeds where most thought she would fail.
Robyn (Mia Wasikowska) has always been a bit of a loner, fascinated by her father's journey by foot across West Africa. In her teens, she resolves to attempt a similar trip in her native Australia. Robyn decides she will walk across 2,700 km (1,700 miles) of unforgiving dessert from Alice Springs to the west coast with four camels and her faithful canine companion. Begrudging the need to compromise the purity of her journey, she agrees to be sponsored by National Geographic in exchange for an article about the adventure and the occasional intrusion of a well-meaning photographer named Rick (Adam Driver).
Though Robyn feels mentally prepared, she knows better than to take anything for granted and understands that such an undertaking requires an equal amount of physical preparation. A key component includes learning to tame some of Australia's wild camels to carry her gear from start to finish. This section of the story comprises the first part of the film; Robyn works odd jobs and apprentices with professional camel wranglers for close to two years before leaving on her trek.
The remainder of the movie chronicles Robyn's desert odyssey. Before entering the cinema, there must be an understanding between the filmmakers and audience that the sand and sun will not be performing any special tricks of amusement. Though the picture focuses on significant events that occurred on the several months journey, there is still a fair amount of uneventful walking in the blazing heat, shots of footprints in the sand and images of the stationary landscape. The rest is filled with visits from Rick and their shaky romance, encounters with natives who have nicknamed her "The Camel Lady," and challenges that include an injured calf, losing her way and haunting dreams made worse by the heat.
Wasikowska portrays her fellow country woman with sincerity. She gets dirty when necessary and doesn't appear to have shied away from the tougher elements during shooting. Driver's enthusiasm in every situation is both irritating and infectious, which is the perfect combination to help the audience view Rick through Robyn's eyes.
Director: John Curran
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver and Emma Booth
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