Jojo Rabbit is a satire about a young boy nicknamed “Jojo” (Roman Griffith Davis), who is a lonely boy in the Hitler Youth who often converses with his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi). However, he finds out that his mother (Scarlett Johannson) is hiding a Jewish girl and is conflicted on what to do about her.
First off, this is a very timely and heartfelt film from one of my favorite directors, Taika Waititi. He shows that love and acceptance are stronger than hate.
Roman Griffith Davis is as charming as ever as Jojo, even though you know his beliefs are wrong, he is so innocent and doesn’t really want to hurt anyone. Scarlett Johansson also gives a pretty powerful performance as his mother, Rosie, who tries to help him open his eyes to the wrongdoings of Germany at the time. Thomasin McKenzie brings sympathy as the Jewish girl, Elsa, and she has a great relationship with Jojo. The film also features a variety of stars including Sam Rockwell, Alfie Allen, and Rebel Wilson who all provide comedic relief. I must also highlight Waititi (who is a Polynesian Jew) as Hitler, he is amusing, but his scenes with Jojo also show how dangerous blind idolization is.
The movie is of course very funny. With a story like this, people may be fearful that the film is insensitive to the events of World War II, but it’s not. While the film is mostly jokes, it also knows when to be serious, and it manages to balance those two clashing tones very well.
And even though the film is spoken in English, I’m very happy that almost everyone has German accents, because that is has always been a nitpick of mine.
I also really liked the costumes, cinematography, and music since they all added to the vibrancy of the film. The film is actually pretty colorful, not muted and dull like other WWII movies tend to be.
Overall, Jojo Rabbit is a heartwarming film and one of my favorites that I’ve seen this year. Right now, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is still my favorite Waititi film, but this is one of his best.
I give Jojo Rabbit an A.