Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Review of Tracks

Robyn Davidson wants to walk across the central Australian desert from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean with camels. She does. The end.

This is a surprisingly straightforward narrative. We don't get much insight into what the journey meant to Davidson (there is a bit of exorcising inner demons from her mother's death, but not much). Early on she says she is drawn to the beauty of the desert, but most of the time she just scowls at it and wipes her sweaty brow with the back of her hand.

There aren't many characters, and there isn't much tension. The romantic relationship promised by the poster on this page (not used in the UK, I think) is not delivered; she has the odd shag with the photographer appointed by her sponsor, but it's a bit perfunctory.

We know she's going to make it, and that sense of certainty is never undermined. Quite how she manages this while apparently walking naked, without a hat or even sunscreen, and in the most inappropriate footwear you could imagine, is the only real mystery.

The music is nice but the desert looks horrible for the most part.

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