2013 Running time: 112 Certificate: 12 Rating: 3
Tracks-KA

Synopsis

Mia Wasikowska stars in the true story of Robyn Davidson, a young woman who embarked on a gruelling 1,700 mile trek across Australia in 1977, accompanied by four camels and her trusty dog. Adam Driver plays the National Geographic photographer who catches her at various points along the way, helping to create the memoir on which the film is based. While capturing the wild beauty of the Outback, this is less Picnic At Hanging Rock than a skin-blistering trawl through blinding sandstorms, merciless sun, and mountains of camel dung.

Director

  • John Curran

Cast

  • Mia Wasikowska

  • Adam Driver

  • Emma Booth

  • Jessica Tovey

  • Melanie Zanetti

Review

In spite of the fact that Australia is arguable the country that most wants to kill you, in 1977 Robyn Davidson decided to walk across it alone.

It's Australia's Into The Wild, but slightly less depressing; a slow, easy tale that showcases the heartstoppingly harsh beauty of the Australian desert.

Stoker's Mia Wasikowska stars as the intrepid Robyn, who arrives in Alice Springs, smack bang in the middle of the vast country. She spends two years learning how to train camels in preparation for a trip she really has no idea how to take.

Without the funds needed to make it all possible, she sells her story to the National Geographic, who send photographer Rick Smoland (Adam Driver) to document the key stages in her journey.

The film is based on Davidson's memoir of the event, and the simple story has been well adapted for the screen by Marion Nelson.

Director John Curran occasionally relies too much on cliché, such as montages of Robyn walking through sand overlaid with a map of her route, but overall creates a subtle, nuanced look at Robyn's ordeal.

Driver and Wasikowska make for a magnetic pair, with Driver's sweet but slightly boorish Rick grating against the straightforward Robyn, who can't quite get over her desperation to be alone.

There's a sense that the relationship deserves more screen time - Rick meets her at several checkpoints, but the vast majority of Robyn's time is spent alone with her camels.

Ulitmately it's Wasikowska's film. She brings an endearing transparency to Robyn's simple desire for escape, and a raw honesty to her struggles throughout the journey.

Janina Matthewson

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