Review: Jo Jo Rabbit (2019)

Feature film is available to watch on Star+

War satire has been around since the dawn of cinema. Comedy has always been the best tool for dealing with difficult topics—whether it’s understanding the other side’s perspective or making the weight of the subject easier for the audience to absorb.

In times where we have seen leaders emerge in defense of retrograde ideals, with people increasingly embracing hatred and contempt for others, “Jojo Rabbit” is an essential film for today.

Directed by Taika Waititithe feature takes place during World War II and follows a German boy (Roman Griffin Davis) only 10 years old who is passionate about Nazism and whose imaginary friend is himself Adolf Hitler (played by Waititi himself). But everything changes when he finds out that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl in his house.

The unfolding of “Jojo Rabbit” may even follow predictable paths, without major surprises, but the narrative concept is so well constructed and the development so fun to watch, that it is impossible not to get carried away by the plot.

There are moments that are exaggerated (but in a good way, after all, exaggerations are part of the comedy), others in which the film subtly changes its tone to something more melancholy and sentimental, and in the face of this, the script also written by Taika Waititi masterfully transitions between satire and drama without ever seeming out of place or forced.

But today’s world is so boring that there were people who created controversy with the film saying that they were offended. “Jojo Rabbit” is far from offensive. It is a film that shows precisely the stupidity of war and hatred, and whose main message is simple and essential: the LOVE.

The use of Hitler as an imaginary friend serves as a tool to show the blind obsession of many people – in the case of the Nazis here, but we can use it in several other examples. The script makes a point of criticizing the behavior of this man who killed millions of innocent people because of a radical, racist and hateful ideal.

“Jojo Rabbit” it is a fun film, and clever in its use of humor, but profound when it decides to touch the heart. Recommended!

Jojo Rabbit/USA

Year: 2019

Directed by: Taika Waititi

Cast: Roman Driffin Davis, Scarlett Johansson, Taika Waititi, Sam Rockwell…

Synopsis: Germany during World War II. Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) is a 10-year-old Nazi who treats Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi) as a close friend in his imagination. His biggest dream is to join the Hitler Youth, a pro-Nazi group made up of other people who agree with his ideals. One day, Jojo discovers that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish woman (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. After several failed attempts to evict her, the young rebel begins to develop empathy for his new guest.

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