No offence to Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver, the human stars, but there is some brilliant, unforgettable camel-acting in ‘Tracks’. The film is the story of Aussie Robyn Davidson (Wasikowska), who, like a lot of people in their mid-twenties, felt lost and unfulfilled. But instead of taking up yoga or doing a masters, she trekked 1,700 miles alone across the Australian desert with four camels and a dog. This was in 1977, and before her two-year prep for the journey, she’d never so much as changed a light bulb or a tyre.
Usually, when a young screen blonde heads into the Aussie outback there’s a psycho with a meat cleaver and mummy issues not far behind. Not this time. ‘Tracks’ might be a bit slow for some, but it’s one of those films that quietly creeps up on you. As Robyn, Mia Wasikowska gives an unflashy, moving performance. As the months pass, her skin burned and peeling, she begins to look like the blistered Australian landscape. Adam Driver (Adam in ‘Girls’) gives another on-the-autism-spectrum-sweet performance as the photographer who shot Robyn for National Geographic. As for the camels, they have an emotional range that runs from A to Z – from sweet and loyal to stubborn and foaming with anger when ill-treated.