Culture Film & TV

Film review: ‘Jojo Rabbit’ is imperfect but daring satire ★★★☆☆

It is genuinely original but avoid the trailer.

Jojo Rabbit shows us that some wars do not only happen around us but instead, they happen within us; and it is not always the evil that loses.

In his new satire Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi is trying to portray the dark times of Nazi Germany and fascism during the Second World War in a sarcastic manner.

Waititi lets us into a life of a 10‑year‑old German boy Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis), for whom the war is just a game. Fanatically obsessed with fascism and Hitler, Jojo is forced to decide between the love for his country and his love for a girl, who happens to be a Jew.

The movie begins towards the end of the Second World War. With his father on the frontlines, Jojo is now the man of the house, where he stays with his mother Rosie, played by Scarlett Johansson. After Jojo discovers that his mother is hiding a Jewish girl Elsa in their attic, Jojo wants to do the right thing.

Director Taika Waititi as Hitler and Roman Griffin Davis as Jojo. Credit: 20th Century Fox

To decide what the ‘right thing’ is, he turns for an advice to his imaginary friend – Adolf Hitler – played by Waititi himself. Jojo decides that he needs to investigate Jews more and write a book about them ‑ their manners, their origins, their looks.

As the end of the war draws closer, Jojo’s perspective of Nazi German changes. It is a story of both personal and German liberation.

The movie represents the sad reality faced by many German kids and teenagers during war, who were part of the Hitler Youth group. These children grew up fatherless and too fast. They were dying for a cause they fully did not understand and for the only father figure they had in their lives at that time ‑ Hitler.

Waititi aims to teach us the importance of the history which made us who we are today. He presents the audience with a unique film and makes us laugh in Hitler’s face and it it has genuine originality.

However, sadly – as is so often the case nowadays – the downfall of Waititi’s satire is that its own official trailer shows the best parts of the movie to the audience before they even arrive in the cinema.

Jojo Rabbit is in cinemas now.

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