Tracker (12A)

Starring: Ray Winstone, Temuera Morrison

Reviewed,Anthony Quinn
Friday 29 April 2011 00:00
Comments

The setting is colonial New Zealand in 1903, though in its panoramic landscapes and elemental conflict Tracker is pretty much your classic Western.

It is ostensibly the story of a manhunt: a Maori seafarer, Kereama (Temuera Morrison), is falsely accused of murder and, aware of the rough justice awaiting him, heads for the mountains. A British major (Gareth Reeves) organises a posse, and recruits as tracker an old enemy from the recent Boer War, Arjan (Ray Winstone), still grieving the murder of his family and the loss of his home. Arjan, much the wiliest of the hunters, strikes out on his own and soon runs the fugitive to ground, yet what seems to be an escort-and-prisoner antagonism gradually reveals a deep seam of empathy – both men have suffered, after all, the agonies of a subject people. The script, by the late Nicolas van Pallandt, brings out this unlikely bond by degrees – both men quote scripture as they reach (literally and figuratively) for the high ground – while Harvey Harrison's photography creates a mesmerising spectacle of New Zealand's rivers and valleys. Winstone, usually unable to suppress his cockney twang, brings great presence and (for once) a fairly plausible accent to the dispossessed Boer, while Morrison offers a nice ironic counterpoint to his opponent's dourness. Two dramatic killer twists are the bonus in a movie that puts an intriguing new spin on old colonial misadventures.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in