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John Halder, a German literature professor in the 1930s, is initially reluctant to accept the ideas of the Nazi Party. He is pulled in different emotional directions by his wife, mother, mistress and Jewish friend.
Many films that try to do what Jauja did fall flat due to one simple flaw. Tedium. Many drone on and on till even the most patient film goer ends up bored and any deeper meaning of the film is lost to them.
Jauja is a slow paced, quiet, and visual film, but it never feels wearing. There's a sense of pace, a slow pace, but a pace and a rhythm that never makes it difficult to watch.
It is made up largely of long, beautiful shots, usually devoid of any music and containing only minimalist dialog. The whole affair has a sort of dreamlike feel. This movie is far less about characters and story and meaning than it is about tone and mood and aesthetics. If it's an aesthetic you enjoy than the film will engross you.
All that said I wasn't truly blown away by it. Nothing really ever shocked or grabbed or awed me. It was beautiful, it was enjoyable, but not really inspiriting on any higher level. It is in the end like a very nice dream, pleasant while you're in it, worth remembering after, but not really anything that carries with you long after waking.
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