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Jojo Rabbit (2019)

by EHL Movie Reviews

Run Time: 1 hour 48 min
Release Date: January 01 2020
Genre: Comedy, Drama, War
Director: Taika Waititi
Cast: Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson

Plot Summary

A young boy in Hitler’s army finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.

When it comes to Taika Waititi you’ve got to expect the weird and wonderful, Jojo Rabbit has a bold story-line that resides in the time when World War II is coming to an end, a coming of age story about a boy with Hitler as a imaginary friend…yes Hitler, played by none other than Waititi himself, weird right.

Going for the dark comedy route is a brave move on all accounts but it weirdly does work, at times. Comedic moments are rife throughout, but another story is nested within, a story about a boy who’s self-discovery of the lies and deception he has been led to believe. All the while, ‘Jojo’ has that niggling voice in the back of his head telling him his beliefs are for the good (they clearly are not), he is tested throughout, but a mind which bends in the right direction through friendship and love.

The best comedic moments came in the form of ‘Yorki’, the best friend of ‘Jojo’. Every moment this character is on screen is hilarious, it’s not that often, but he definitely makes the most of his screen time. Taika does a good job as Hitler, a difficult challenge creating light out of such a dark character, but it strangely worked. A whole host of other characters were present, some don’t work as well as others, a shame considering the host of talent on show here, but you’re able to see past this. What was difficult to get to grips with was the host of bad accents, at times it seemed like they were dropping in and out of the German accent mid-conversation, off-putting to say the least..

A change of tone was present throughout the film, the pacing showed this with a large dip in the middle, here were the more serious moments. You learned more about these characters in those moments, spent more time with them, understanding their motives.

This should not work, the end of the film is what brought this all together, although with heartbreaking consequences this ultimately had the outcome you’re rooting for. These final scenes proved the emotion that Jojo Rabbit was building up to, but still scattering those dark comedic moments in amongst the serious story-line.