Critic Consensus: Jauja will prove haunting for those lured in by its deliberate pace and lovely visuals, though it may test some viewers' patience.
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Critic Reviews for Jauja
This fifth feature by the brilliant Argentine filmmaker Lisandro Alonso is his first with professional actors and a period setting, yet it meshes thematically with his other work.
Alonso sustains an atmosphere of otherworldly immanence in a vivid setting, with a style involving long takes with characters posed as if in tableaux vivants.
Viewers who can accept a defiantly slow pace, a few loose plot threads and a directorial style that works by intimation, will be rewarded.
If you applauded the genre-tweaking twists of Gus Van Sant's "Gerry" and Kelly Reichardt's "Meek's Cutoff," you may have a good time (or at least an interesting one) at acclaimed Argentine director Lisandro Alonso's latest puzzler, "Jauja."
Audience Reviews for Jauja
The stunning cinematography - in an almost square ratio of rounded corners - knows how to explore the green vastness of its landscapes, but Alonso mistakes tedious for contemplative, and it doesn't help that the last half hour turns out to be a full incursion into absolute nothingness.
In "Jauja," there is a war going on in Patagonia in the 1880's, as the Argentine army seeks to destroy the native population. But Gunnar Dinesen(Viggo Mortensen) has other things on his mind. First, there is his job as an engineer. The second is keeping an eye on his teenage daughter Ingeborg(Viilbjork Malling Agger). Then, she makes a run for it with Corto(Diego Roman), a soldier, with her father in not so fast pursuit. "Jauja" gets off to a promising, if slow, start, with its examination of a little known bit of history, and through that a pointed look at multiple levels of racism.(When Corto asks Ingeborg if Dinesen is her father, it does raise some rather interesting questions...) Plus, there is the always welcome and game Viggo Mortensen who is also credited with the movie's music. But once the desolate scenery starts changing, so too do the rules in arbitrary fashion, as this also gets increasingly ponderous as it goes on. And that's all topped off with a rather baffling cameo before a truly inexplicable ending.
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