Wonderful film that shows the true to life adventure of one young woman’s determined journey through the deserts of Western Australia in the mid 1970’s, from Alice Springs in the heart of the country all the way to the Indian Ocean. The woman in question is Robyn Davidson, played in a fairly gutsy portrayal here by Mia Wasikowska, who became famous as ‘the camel lady’ through her stoic decision to try and travel alone with only a few camels to carry her luggage as company, despite not having a penny to her name to begin with. Eventually, she is forced to accept funding from National Geographic and begrudgingly has to occasionally suffer the company of their photographer Rick Smolan (Adam Driver), leading to one of the most interesting moments when she can’t stand his presence and talking anymore and so decides to shag him to just to get him to shut up. It’s certainly a novel approach to seduction.
Lurking behind this sudden jumping of her companion’s bones is a crawling loneliness that echoes throughout the film and eats away at the main character, who is kind of making the grandest statement of just how much it defines her, and we see shades of her past with the suicide of her mother that underpins her young adult relation to the world. The film takes its time and consistently treats us to views of the austere landscape whilst a very well judged score plays throughout, interspersed with moments of human interaction and reflection, and this technique works really well for the narrative, with the balance and tone suitably adjudged by director John Curran (‘The Painted Veil’ 06, ‘Stone’ 10), and it certainly shows lots of promise for debut screenwriter Marion Nelson. Definitely worth going to see.