Title: Jojo Rabbit
Release Date: November 8, 2019
Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director: Taika Waititi
Release Format: Theatrical
Jojo Rabbit is this year’s most weirdly hilarious and heartwarming film to hit the big screen. This flick shines, having more charms on it than a schoolgirl that got into their mom’s jewelry box.
The film is about Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis), a 10-year-old boy growing up in Nazi Germany as a Hilter fanatic. He learns his mother is hiding a Jewish girl and must battle an internal conflict as well as external ones as WW2 nears its end. Did I mention his imaginary best friend is Hitler (Takia Waititi)?
After coming off of Thor: Ragnarok, Watiti directs and stars in this coming of age tale that could have gone terribly wrong. Seriously, this should have failed harder than Mariah Carey singing on New Year’s Eve, yet somehow dodges every pitfall like Neo in the Matrix.
I laughed, cried and had a mix of emotions at once sometimes that has me anxiously waiting to see this film again. Yes, those can be signs of a potentially crazy future ex, but they’re also the signs of an excellent movie.
I don’t have a single bad thing to say about Jojo Rabbit. This is a brilliant piece of filmmaking that reminds me of why I love going to the theatre. Better yet, it reminds me why risky concepts are worth making.
Every character in this film is great no matter how much or little screen time they have, you want to see more of them.
Scarlett Johansson gives possibly what may her best performance to date as Jojo’s mother as Rosie. She’s a fascinating treat to watch, giving the film a mix of levity and heaviness when needed.
Another standout is Captain K (Sam Rockwell), who is one of the highlights of the film as a failed perpetually drunk soldier that trains kids like Jojo for war. He’s multi-layered and the most fascinating person that has eye-opening parallels between him and Jojo.
Jojo starts as a dislikable kid that you can’t help get behind later thanks to Davis’ performance. He plays this naive kid so well and is able to get across his deeper good nature even in the nastier moments. Jojo is a product of his environment and his mother is doing her best to keep him from being a mindless Nazi.
Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie) brings in the film’s darkness as it doesn’t gloss over the fact this takes place in Nazi Germany. She is rough around the edges (for good reason) but offers some of Jojo Rabbit’s most tender moments in her scenes with Davis.
The Strings That Makes Jojo Rabbit Jump
Jojo Rabbit is a quirky movie that definitely “goes there” as it does a balancing act between the drama and comedy. This film is mostly lighthearted, but when it decides it’s time for you to cry, you better have tissues ready for the feel-trip you are about take.
At the start, I was wondering how long it was going to be before the cringe came, but it never did. The endearing characters kept me laughing and had me gripping my armrest when things got serious. The music selection is also pretty phenomenal even if sounds like something off the Hipster Spotify.
There are some cool shots and visuals that are subtle. So, if you blink you might miss them. For example, Jojo puts up posters of Hilter around town at one point in the film. Then, as he rubs on the flyer on the wall to stick, it flips back and forth from Waiti making faces to the real Hitler looking stern like a flipbook.
Even the way characters are shot sometimes using mirrors and other angles to avoid using wide shots to see both people is refreshing. I usually don’t get too into the technical aspect with these reviews, but the creativity is really bursting out the seams here.
Verdict: Jojo Rabbit is a strong contender for movie of the year and it’s hard to see anything topping this charming story. The excellent writing, great direction, and actors make this a film you need to hop over to a theatre and see. I could gush all day about this but anything preventing you from watching this immediately should be a crime.
Got a baby to care of? Not today you don’t. Have dinner with your parents? Nope, you’re an orphan for today. Do whatever you need to get to the theatres. Jojo even had my Spanish friends going “jaja” for this is a once-in-a-decade type film that anyone can connect with.
What’s your favorite underrated movie? What’s are your thoughts on Jojo Rabbit? Are there any other films you would recommend that are similar to this? Leave your comments!
- Excellent script & actors
- Great music
- Creative direction
- "We don't do that here."