by Ruben R. Rosario
Now available on DVD from Image Entertainment.
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Nicolas Roeg’s Track 29 is an interesting look into the psyche of a broken housewife and her inability to cope with the loss of her son. Linda (Theressa Russell) lives in an extremely dull marriage with Henry (Christopher Lloyd), a doctor that’s obsessed with model trains. One day, while Linda is out with one of her neighbor’s, she meets Martin (Gary Oldman), an Englishman that reminds her of son that she gave up for adoption, right after he was born. After spending time with Martin, Linda must confront the demon’s of her past, her troubled marriage to Henry and the fact that her son just might be a figment of her own imagination. Track 29 is a great film, filled with fearless performances and interesting editing techniques that make it a gem amongst the Handmade Film’s catalog.
Even though it’s a very early performance from Oldman, he still ignites the screen as Martin. As the mental projection of Linda’s son, he embodies her troubled past, regrets and sexual frustration that she’s living with. The range that he displays in his emotions, everything from childlike behavior to incredible rage, is commanding of one’s attention. Theresa Russell plays off of Oldman extremely well as Linda and shows some range, as she straddles from the anxiety of a former pregnant teen, to the disappointed wife. While he has much less screen time than the other, Christopher Lloyd’s portrayal of Henry adds another layer of depth of Freudian imagery, that is already ever present within the mother/son relationship. All of these character’s portrayals showcase Roeg’s ability to push his actor’s to tell the story. Tony Lawson uses the same techniques that he utilized on Bad Timing, another wonderful and raw film by Roeg about sexuality. While not as heavy on the flashbacks, Lawson’s use of intercutting back and forth through the trauma’s of the young Linda and the present, we are able to see and come to understand how she has become a drunk and depressed human being.
While this new DVD by Image Entertainment has no extra features present on the disc, the film itself is more than enough to make this disc worth owning. The video quality was quite good, despite the film’s age and was pretty crystal clear. There are trailers for a bunch of the other Handmade Film releases like Mona Lisa, Withnail and I and The Long Good Friday and that’s really the only sort of extra to be had. Overall, Track 29 is a film that stands on its own on this release, due to strong storytelling, through its acting and editing that make for another win in the late George Harrison’s attempt at producing films in the 80’s. Highly Recommended!
Ruben R. Rosario is a graduate from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Audio for Visual Media. He works as a freelance location sound mixer, boom operator, sound designer, and writer in his native Chicago. He’s an avid collector of films, comics, and anime.
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