After he played Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Viggo Mortensen could have gone Hollywood and taken any number of action or leading man roles. Instead, he opted to make only the movies he was interested in and has amassed a strange, often impressive filmography. In fact, many of his films have not even seen release in the United States.
For his latest role, which is in Jauja, Mortensen is Captain Gunnar Dinesen, arriving in Patagonia in the 1800s with his teenage daughter to take an engineering job. When the girl runs away with a soldier, Dinesen chases after her, all the way behind enemy lines. The film competed in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where it received the FIPRESCI Prize.
Although the latest U.S. trailer for Jauja gives little plot information, it does establish the ambience. The camerawork and framing has the feel of an old photograph, emphasizing the moods of the characters rather than relying on apparent action. The dialogue sounds like it’s exclusively in Spanish and Danish, which is interesting to hear coming from Mortensen. All in all, the film appears to be of the new class of “existential” Westerns that have been coming through cinemas over the past few years. It’s a visually striking piece of work, to be sure, and it will be interesting to see what director Lisandro Alonso came up with. I’ve always enjoyed Mortensen’s performances, even if he has made some very odd films over the years, so it will be a pleasure to see him on the big screen once more.
Jauja comes to theaters on March 20. Check out the U.S. trailer over at Indiewire and see what you think. It’s a long way from Lord of the Rings, that’s for sure.
Source: The Playlist