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Director John Curran (The Painted Veil, We Don't Live Here Anymore) and the producers of The King's Speech bring you the film Tracks, which tells the remarkable true story of Robyn Davidson (Wasikowska), a young woman who leaves her life in the city to make a solo trek through almost 2,000 miles of sprawling Australian desert. Accompanied by only her dog and four unpredictable camels, she sets off on a life-changing journey of self-discovery. Along the way, she meets National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan (Driver) who begins to photograph her voyage.
Includes the special feature: "Tracks: An Extraordinary Odyssey"
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The DVD is not the theater-released 112 minute version that Amazon advertises, but the 100 minute truncated one. Twelve minutes is a long time to cut from a movie, and I sure would like to see the original theater release, but I haven' found one in the US yet. The 100 minute DVD is probably the 100 minute version Amazon streams for $2.99; so you might want to stream it if you have broadband. If not, the DVD is very nice and the story is fascinating.
I enjoyed this (100 minute) movie very much. The photography is stunning and beautifully shot. Whereas "Wild" is Cheryl Strayed's redemption story, "Tracks" is more of a rite of passage story and is patiently told as Robyn Davidson learns how to work with camels and survive in the outback. Mia Wasikowska's portrayal of Robyn is a joy to watch, and Robyn's love of animals is emphasized throughout. I would consider giving this movie a 5 star rating except for the false advertising by Amazon concerning the length.
In the mid-1970s, youthful Australian Robyn Davidson traveled to the town of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory with a dangerous and improbable dream: to complete an arduous 1,700-mile solo journey on foot from Alice to the Indian Ocean, traversing a vast desert with four camels and her faithful dog. Many did not expect her to complete or even survive the trip, but she persevered, and a National Geographic cover story and, later, a bestselling memoir elevated her international profile. Director John Curran’s vividly realized dramatization of her memoir is my favorite film of the year. Rapidly rising star Mia Wasikowska, known best for playing such literary characters as Lewis Carroll’s Alice (for Tim Burton) and Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, delivers a captivating and soulful performance as Davidson, which is important considering the film rests almost entirely on her shoulders. With absolute authenticity, she conveys the physical and psychological torment endured while traveling in the desert. In tandem with the screenplay, she also laces her performance with tantalizing, never-didactic hints regarding Davidson’s elusive motive for leaving society behind in so dramatic a fashion. Is it a feminist statement designed to rebel against the constrictive expectations of a masculine society? Is it an old-fashioned, call-of-the-wild pursuit of adventure? Is she simply antisocial? The absence of a simple answer gives the film a mythic dimension. Not ambiguous in any way, shape, or form are the superior technical attributes, including downright awe-inspiring landscape photography. The camera alternates between wide-angle shots revealing the frightening insignificance of a single person in so vast an environment and intense closeups depicting day-by-day, step-by-step disorientation, pain, and transcendence.