TIFF 2013 Review: Tracks
Who knew camels could be so telegenic?
Mia Wasikowska, playing a curious, restless woman who sets out to traverse the Australian desert with the aforementioned humped mammals in tow, too is captivating. Based on a true story, she is Robyn Davison, who in 1977 set out to travel the country, with some help from National Geographic and all alone save for her camels, her dog, and the occasional visit by a loquacious photographer.
More beautiful than daunting, more straightforward than dramatic, her 2,700 kilometer trek is strangely about confronting her lonely existence rather than overcoming nature. It is a hot, sweaty experience, one that puts the viewer close alongside the intrepid hiker. For all the time spent together, we still know little about her; only she loves her dog, has an affinity for camels, and prefers their company over that of people.
She has family and friends that care for her, though they don’t seem to be especially concerned of her journey. There is also a doting photog who is as much interested in promoting his own career as he is for her safety.
The Australian-born Wasikowska, who looks uncannily like the real life Davison, assumes a difficult role and remains a fascinating screen presence. It’s an intriguing journey, fascinating only for the interactions between Robyn and her furry companions. Were it not for them, it becomes empty, quiet, and thoughtless. Even as it is, there is little meaning and not much there– it’s the desert, after all.
Tuesday September 10 – Visa Screening Room (Elgin) – 6:00 PM
Wednesday September 11 – TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 – 2:45 PM