‘Jauja’ is something you should never have to put yourself through.

Jauja tells the story of a father and daughter who journey from Denmark to an unknown desert that exists in a realm beyond the confines of civilisation.

No matter where I go, all I can find is positive reviews of this film. And I fail to understand why. Two friends and I went to see this film that was followed by a Q&A by actor/producer Viggo Mortensen. The cinema was filled and I was eternally surprised at the fact no one had left. Anyone who did get up to leave only returned with a drink or two and popcorn to help distract themselves fromJauja.

I think the majority of the audience remained because they wanted to hear from Mortensen himself what had actually happened in the film. Many were fidgeting, myself included, and you could see screens of phones lighting up every now and again to check how many more painful minutes we had to spend watching the film.

Both the Spanish and the Danish spoken sounded strange and disjointed, but maybe that’s just Viggo’s speaking style. The editing was way below par. A main aspect of editing is that when the action has left the scene, or about to leave the scene, it would be more natural to cut but in Jauja, shots were often left unfilled and lacking anything but the desert scenery.

There was also absolutely no story whatsoever and the cut to modern day Denmark, in what I found out only in the Q&A because it made absolutely no sense and the setting was hardly clear enough, was completely irrelevant. If anything, the film should have ended way before when Mortensen’s character walked off into the distance in search of his daughter.

The opening images of the film were also disturbing as a man could be seen in a rock pool by the beach pleasuring himself. The take was disturbingly long and by far one of the most awkward parts of the film. You could feel the audience bristling.

So whatever you do, don’t go and see this film. It was just a shame that Viggo had such a passion and enthusiasm about it because I wish I could’ve shared it with him also.

FIlm-O-Meter: 1/10.


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