Taika Waititi dons the role of a young German boy’s imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler, in the hilarious yet heart-warming coming of age story Jojo Rabbit.
The film is a comedy full of running gags, laugh out loud moments, but most importantly, heart and a passion for the art of film.
Photo Courtesy IMDB.COM
As of November 17, 2019, Jojo Rabbit has grossed $13.6 million
in the United States and for a worldwide total of $18.7 million.
Written and directed by Waititi, who directed Thor Ragnarök 2017.
The director employed heavy use of his comedic chops to revitalize and put a new spin on the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Thor standalone films.
Jojo Rabbit is evidence enough that he is not just a one trick pony. Waititi creates compelling characters with depth, tells a heart-warming story and makes the audience feel the struggles that the main characters are going through.
Jojo Rabbit’s main cast is made up of Waititi, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell and Rebel Wilson.
I was incredibly surprised by the film’s main leads Thomasin Mackenzie, Elsa Korr, and making his debut on the big screen Roman Griffin Davis as Jojo Betzler.
These young child actors had the impossible task of getting us invested in their character’s journey, carrying most of this film’s weight. They did a fantastic job!
The movie tells the story of a young, innocent and impressionable boy, Jojo, growing up in Nazi Germany at the tail end of the Nazi regime.
Life is simple for young Jojo. He plans to attend the Hitler youth camp, train to become a strong German soldier and join Hitler’s personal guard.
However, a strange twist of fate leads him to discover that his mom, Johansson, is hiding a young Jewish girl, Mackenzie, in his sister’s old room.
Jojo’s world views slowly start crumbling away as he discovers something important about himself.
While the film deals with an incredibly dark and serious subject, it perfectly balances it out with a comedic tone.
This balance becomes evident through Waititi’s use of color.
In the beginning of the film, Waititi uses vibrant shades of blue, red, green and orange.
These vibrant colors paint a gorgeous and perfect picture of Nazi Germany, giving the audience insight to what it’s like in Jojo’s head.
His view of the world is childlike. He sees the world as a beautiful colorful and bright place that is perfect just the way it is.
The more that Jojo starts to question himself, the uglier his world becomes.
It turns dull, gray and bleak. Soon the dark and cruel reality of his “utopia,” sinks in.
This film was beautifully shot and seamlessly edited.
The scenes in the film are reminiscent of the 1930’s. One of the marks of a great director is the ability to make their audience suspend all disbelief and fully immerse themselves in the moment.
Waititi’s transitions between scenes are smooth and hard to point out because he manages to fully immerse his audience in this story.
The film was well paced, it is a two-hour film however, I didn’t feel overwhelmed by the films run time.
I watched Jojo Rabbit at the Alamo Drafthouse in a packed pre-screening of the film.
The audience was as engaged as I was and surprisingly, well behaved.
I loved how Davis and Johansson’s mother and son relationship felt genuine.
Some of the films best scenes were when Johansson and Davis’s character are bonding amidst the poverty, death and chaos of war.
It is both sweet and heart breaking how she tries to teach her son to look past the blatant lies and propaganda that young children in Germany were brainwashed with.
This is a very human story.
While the film is not perfect, I do not have anything negative to say about it.
I could tell that Waititi, the staff behind the camera and the actors had fun making Jojo Rabbit.
It is a political satire about an incredibly dark and unfortunate time in our history, but It never crosses the line in a disrespectful way.
I recommend that people go out and show this film some love. I give Jojo Rabbit 5 out of 5 Stars.