@ Her Majesty’s Theatre
10:30am, Sun 3 Mar 2002
Short Review: Visually adept
“The Tracker”, the first film on the AFA’s F5 program, is a simple tale following the hunt of an alleged murderer by an Aboriginal Tracker, and the police that enslave him. Written and directed by the acclaimed Rolf de Heer, and produced for the 2002 Festival, it’s a pretty reasonable bit of work.
Filmed near Arkaroola (South Australia), the film is visually splendid – wonderful shots of the very Australian landscapes, and some magnificent images in certain scenes – “that sunrise” (to tell you exactly which sunrise would be a spoiler) is a masterpiece. de Heer also uses oil paintings to describe the violence which takes place, rather than using live action, to wonderful effect.
The plot is simple and linear; my only complaint was that there were points where characters flip-flopped unbelievably – Gary Sweet (as The Fanatic) transforms from The Tracker’s main ally in the party to his greatest nemesis within a scene or two. Likewise, Damon Gameau’s Follower goes from wet-behind-the-ears to Bush Guru almost overnight. Grant Page, as The Veteran, is under-used.
In short, this was a pretty reasonable flick, but just not chunky enough to fully satisfy.
BTW – here’s the IMDB info (as sketchy as it is) on “The Tracker”.