Summer of 2014 was a little too slow for movies this year. My hot summer day was missing a cold theatre seat with a cold Pepsi drink my in my right hand and hot popcorn in my left hand and a decent film. I was looking for a film that had desert in a movie or a film that dealt with an adventure. I browsed around Google tabs before I found Tracks playing by a theatre in Downtown Houston. There was an evening show, but I didn’t have that summer sensation on an evening, so I booked a ticket for the next day for a matinee show.
As always, theatres with independent films were nonexistent with humans. I didn’t mind this at all. There was no sign of a human expect for me. I developed this nostalgic feeling of viewing a film during summers when my cousin Jay would take me to see a Hindi film during a matinee show. When I left India, I didn’t get to see Hindi movies or Hollywood films in a theatre until I was in high school. There were occasions where I was taken to see Hindi movies when they were half off either in Fun Plex or the theatre on Bellaire back in late 90s.
While scanning through Tracks, I observed a similarity between 1970s and 2010s: a rapid increase of cameras when someone does something “different.” Maybe this wasn’t a similarity, but a fast-forward to a future, where humans are occupied with phone cameras. Tracks may look like another version of self-discovery through unaccompanied journey film, but it lacked an excitement in the film. Mia Wasikowska plays Robin Davidson, who walked across the Western- Australian desert in late 70s accompanied by camels and a dog. Rick Smolan, a freelance photographer, and a chatter-box, works for National Geographic magazine accompanies Robin every so often. Tracks is not like Into the Wild. Robin’s journey is meant to be deeply personal, but ends up interrupted by photographers.
Tracks had beautiful visuals. Mia is perfectly casted in this film and so is Adam Driver. Both are a mismatch. John Curran, director of Tracks, avoids the heavy-cliché journey film. It isn’t meant to be Eat, Pray, Love, or Into the Wild or the latest film with Reese Witherspoon, but meant to accompany her journey with Robyn all over. Robin Davidson still remains a mystery for both audience and Rick Smolan.