Film Review: Tracks


The film Tracks is a bit like holiday pictures; it is only interesting to the people who had the experience in the first place.

Robyn Davidson decides to go on a 1,700 trek across the deserts of western Australia. Before she departs,Robyn needs to acquire and train camels to accompany her…

Based on the account by Robyn Davidson, John Curran’s Tracks tells the story of her amazing accomplishment. The main problem with the film is that despite the scale of the challenge that is undertaken, there is not much to the story.

A largely one person trek across deserts does not offer much in terms of entertainment. Marion Nelson’s screenplay offers an insight into Robyn’s past and the reason for undertaking the challenge. However, this feels half baked and little contrived. It is almost as if the filmmakers realised the narrative was missing something so they decided to explore Robyn’s childhood.

Moreover, Tracks‘ narrative lacks a spark. There are a few moments of tension, but these are not strong enough to sustain the film. The interactions between Robyn and Rich feel a bit forced, as if they were developed solely to add depth to the narrative.

The landscape in Tracks is beautifully shot. The cinematography makes the most of the barren environment. There is a strong use of colour in the film. Mia Wasikowska delivers a capable performance in what looks like a physically challenging role.

Tracks is visually appealing, but lacks the substance to keep viewers engaged with the narrative.

Tracks is being screened at the London Film Festival in October 2013.