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4.2 out of 5 stars226
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 30 April 2014
In 1977 a lonely Robyn Davidson(Mia Wasikowska) decides to travel 1700 miles by foot with four camels(3 adults, one offspring) and her dog Diggity from Alice Springs and go due west through some pretty hostile terrain to the Indian Ocean. Along the way she meets some interesting characters and has to put up with a part time companion in the form of National Geographic photographer Nick Smolyn(Adam driver) whose magazine requires the obvious in return for being the main sponsor of Davidson's trek.The only problem being that Davidson could really do without him because as,in the words of Greta Garbo and i'm paraphrasing,she wants to be alone which is the main motivation for the trip.

Based on a true story and remaining very faithful to it even if her reasons seem elusive and her desire to do it with camels is never convincingly explained, Tracks is a hynotically episodic film in the best possible sense. More mellow than melodrama, the film doesn't hitch itself to emotional highs and lows. Instead the whole thing plays out so leisurely and delicately that Davidson's odyssey seems refreshingly matter of fact which of course it is not.Walk,unload,sleep,get up,walk ,unload,sleep.Along the way she gets some help from some Aboriginal elders, stays with assorted folks dotted throughout this barren landscape and Nick filters in and out too with instrusiveness and helpfulness in equal part.

Director John Curran(Painted Veil,Stone)steers the ship effortlessly and the landscape is stunningly rendered in shot after shot after shot. However the star here is Wasikowska whose performance is a delight.She plays Davidson with just the right amount of obstinancy,warmth and clarity of purpose while at the same time retaining a aura of emotional fragility as to the enormity of her undertaking.

A double bill with Nick Roeg's Walkabout (both in hd) would a treat for the eyes and I will be doing just that when Tracks is released.Catch it if you can on it on it's limited theatrical run before it disappears. You won't be disappointed.
Her standoff with some feral camels is superbly done.
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on 3 July 2014
For those yearning for a real connection in a superficial world of distractions and material focus, of disconnected lives, "Tracks" is a welcomed antidote to our ADHD culture. The film depicts a young woman's nine month journey across the vast Australian desert - one where, through the environment and events, she confronts herself, along with her buried past, cultural views, and on a universal level, nature itself. From an emotional desert to the cleansing tides of the ocean, this is a journey into the psyche, into the soul of a person who is separate from everything except her animals - it's one where she encounters resistance from without and within, and is finally able to accept the caring of others. Most importantly, "Tracks" shows us a young woman who needs to challenge herself physically and emotionally, to extend her boundaries, and is determined to see it through. Nothing, however, is overdone or spoon-fed to the audience, everything is achieved through a naturalistic focus, no drummed up Hollywood melodrama or cliches. John Curran's direction is masterful and measured and the cinematography of Mandy Walker is breathtaking - a rich tapestry of color and glorious light, from subtle shade to blazing sun and starry nights, capturing the lonely panorama of the Australian Outback. The entire cast is pitch-perfect. Adam Driver and Roly Mintuma lend humorous and empathic support, the loyal black lab, Diggity, and the four camel companions are all distinct personalities, each an important player in the story. Ultimately, though, none of the film's emotional resonance would have been possible without the amazing central performance of Mia Wasikowska, who brilliantly embodies a loner going through an intense experience that's both external and internal. There are no over-the-top emotional speeches, rather she communicates a deep understanding of her character through body language and eyes, through her very presence, which casts a hypnotic spell that draws us in, allowing us to care about her, warts and all, and share her experience.

"Tracks" is a film that's nuanced and authentic, and all the more powerful for it - it's also joyous. Credit should also be given to Garth Stevenson's evocative score, a sublime reflection of the natural world. This is a tale that takes you on a personal journey that's both cultural and spiritual - one of haunting beauty that will linger long after the film has ended.
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on 4 September 2014
The long trek depicted here across barren Outback terrain was truly heroic. A determined young woman, her faithful dog, a couple of pack camels, and some great Outback characters who helped her along the way all make for a terrific movie. All the amazing beauty of that world--- the crystal clear air, the sharp colours and intense light--- cannot hide its hostility, so walking through it and surviving is a remarkable achievement. It emerges from flashbacks and conversations with the National Geographic photographer who shows up now and then to take pictures (the magazine financed and covered the trek) that the woman herself desperately sought solitude. She was understandably frustrated when the outside world sometimes burst in on her
journey in the form of journalists from all around the world and even tourists with their cameras at the ready. But here lies what I see as a weakness of the film. In the end, we don't really understand what the journey meant to her, how it may have altered her world view or sense of self. What difference, that is, did this whole experience make in her life? I wish this interior story had been explored more fully in the movie.
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A brilliant film about a young woman trekking across Australia with four camels and a black dog. Robyn Davidson endured the 1700 mile journey in 1977 and this film captures the heartache and suffering that she experienced showing how certain people can push themselves to the limit to discover their inner being.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 25 January 2016
The viewing experience for 'Tracks' is rather like the essence of the story itself. A slow meandering journey through the beautiful and barren Australian Western Desert. Captivating whilst also strangely being devoid simultaneously.
It is the true story of one woman's decision to walk the 1700 mile journey across this empty and largely inhospitable region, just seemingly because it was there. There is not much artistic license taken here to ramp up the danger or excitement. To appreciate the gravity of this undertaking is to understand that it was in itself dangerous enough and the film presents this very well. Mia Wasikowska puts in another great performance along with the various characters she meets and relies upon during her journey; largely it is her and her dog diggity and trio of camels which take centre stage. The film also offers some background in the form of flashbacks to 'Robyn's' childhood which offer some indicators but largely motivations and life choices are left open to guess work or interpretation.
It's difficult in essence to sell this film beyond saying that it is an amazing thing to have done and if you need a momentary escape from the pressures and rapidity of modern life it is a very interesting visual experience to immerse yourself into.
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on 3 July 2014
On way back from Kinema in the Woods after watching 'Tracks', which was a stunning film full of just beautiful cinematography and imbued with the same sort of mysticism of the great 1970s Australian films such as 'Walkabout' and 'Picnic at Hanging Rock', in which the landscape itself becomes an integral part of the story. Wonderful central performance by the young actress Mia Wasikowska, whose character appeared to be a bit of an outsider and she seemed to be using the journey to exorcise a few demons. Although the early part was interesting enough the film was much better once she had begun her epic trek.

I've not read the book, which I will now, so I don't know how much has been changed to provide some dramatic conflict but the film could have been bolder by dropping a couple of scenes with the annoying National Geographic photographer. It also suffered from an incessant and intrusive soundtrack when it would have been so much more effective to let the natural sounds of the Outback provide the score.

Those caveats aside I think that 'Tracks' is going to be a contender for one of my films of the year and I'm surprised it's taken this long for it to be brought to the screen.
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on 11 June 2016
If you like your films slow, arty and with lots of flashbacks, then this is the film for you. I'm not sure why I watched it to the end, perhaps just to see if she made it all the way to the coast. Others will have written about the story of the film. I found it un-engaging. The girl seemed to express no emotions at all except to feel sorry for her self, and fear (spoiler alert) when she was charged at by some randy male camels. The scenery - with the exception of Ularu (Eyer's Rock) was uniformly drab, dry and bland. The girl seemed to have suffered very little hardship - no blisters or sunburn for her. She took all her own food and had plenty of water thanks to the hapless photographer who I'm sure fancied her, though God knows why, and went out of his way to drive 1,000 miles to drop off some water at strategic points - a thankless task. If it comes on TV and you've got a couple of hours to kill and nothing better to do, then watch it. If on the other hand, you want to watch a far better film that has a similar, but much more interesting story - and much better scenery, then watch Nicholas Roeg's masterpiece 'Walkabout'.
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on 30 September 2014
Beautifully made film which is faithful to Robyn Davidson. The script is tight with some very punchy feminist action points and some lovely little scenes of repose here and there. .The pace of the film perfectly reflects the nature of the trip.The fact that there is no detailed attempt to explain the "why" is also consistent with Robyn's own motivation. The amazing cinematography is best seen on the big screen of course but blu -ray is great on a big home screen.

For me not boring at all , but I think you need to have read the book as well.

Very well cast and very well acted by all concerned, including camels and dog.
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on 23 October 2014
This was a surprisingly engaging film and very watchable. A nice balance between camel trekking, psychology of relationships and the scenery.
Falls down a bit on detail, eg at one moment our heroine is severely sunburned and the next moment she is in the bathtub without a blister.
However, whoever edited the "Extras" should be shot. In this day and age to show interviews prefaced by a legend then 25 sec of film followed by another legend and 1min 15 sec of film twenty plus times was a nightmare to watch. However the interview with Robyn Davidson (author of the book) was more adult inits presentation
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on 15 October 2014
A thought provoking film well acted and awakening the reasons human beings search for peace, often in loneliness. Yet this story about one woman's personal quest involves others in a thoughtful commentary on why we need each other, including loyal and unjudgemental animals. The film was also an interesting reminder/cameo of the bygone age of youth protest and the hippy peaceful rebellion against normality. On the whole a lovely story well photographed in the great wide, often barren, land of Australia with a purposeful direction which kept me fascinated to the very end. Buy or rent this film.
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