CAMELS are not known as the most patient and loving of all four-legged beasts, but here’s a story about a woman who seems to prefer them to other human beings. Based on the bestselling memoir by Robyn Davidson, Tracks is the travelogue of a woman who decides to cross the Australian Outback — 1,700 miles of it, to be precise — with four camels and her pet labrador, Diggity. The journey took place in 1977, at a time when a woman would scarcely dare to enter a bar in Alice Springs, let alone walk across the desert on her own. It’s not quite clear what her motivation for the odyssey is — though there are hints that it’s a kind of therapy to get over her mother’s death.
Robyn — a role once destined for Julia Roberts but played here by Mia Wasikowska — makes it clear she doesn’t need help from any man, but she is nevertheless stalked by a somewhat obnoxious National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan (Adam Driver).
Director John Curren takes full advantage of the hot, hazy environment which acts as a metaphor for this odd woman’s strange state of mind.
The result is a cinematic work of art which is testimony both to the endurance of the human soul and the harshness of nature.