The Second World War is coming to an end and amidst the impending defeat of Germany, 10 year old Johannes “Jojo” Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis) is joining the Hitler Youth to dedicate his life to his country and it’s leader. Trying to quench his soft nature through blind nationalism, Jojo doesn’t get off to a good start. Led by his mother (Scarlett Johansson) towards the right path, Jojo faces some moral choices…
We absolutely loved Jojo Rabbit and can’t recommend this bonkers comedy enough. Check out our five reasons to see it below!
1. It’s made by Taika Waititi
Adapting Christine Leunens’ 2004 book Caging Skies, Taika Waititi really has created something special with Jojo Rabbit. His 5 other feature films (including Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Thor: Ragnarok) and the opening themes of Beatlemania mixed with Nazi imagery tee up this dark comedy to be a great success and it doesn’t let you down on that. The shots used for each scene (especially action sequences), the way the film feels and the hilarious screenplay are credit to the brilliant mind of Waititi. The whole film is a work of art that’s directed, produced and screenplay written by him.
2. The comedy is so funny
A comedy film based in Nazi Germany towards the end of the Second World War could really have the jokes misplaced. Luckily, Waititi hits the nail on the head perfectly in this film, with the satire making so much sense as we see things like the hardest minds in the Third Reich mocked for their absurd rules (e.g. “Heil Hitler” being a greeting to every personnel – this scene is so funny). The screen we were in was filled with laughter throughout and we even missed a few jokes from still laughing at the previous ones! What’s nice is that the level of comedy is just right too, allowing for some respite to progress characters and the plot of the film.
3. It’s much more than just a comedy film
Unexpectedly, we got so much more from this dark comedy than just an abundance of laughs. Waititi takes time to touch on the serious nature of Hitler’s reign, where communities were missing loved ones whilst living in fear of a visit from the Gestapo or imminent enemy attacks. The more serious parts are carried so well by the stellar cast that have been brought together for this film, evoking some really emotional scenes in this story.
4. The entire cast is fabulous
We are treated here to Hollywood royalty in Scarlett Johansson’s emotional performance as Rosie, Jojo’s mother. The conflict Johansson shows by raising a Nazi fanatic son while disagreeing completely with his life choices comes across so well. We empathise with her as we quickly grow to love the innocent nature of Jojo, the troubled child who she has such a gorgeous on-screen relationship with.
Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, Alfie Allen and Stephen Merchant lead the remaining adult cast by adding amusement to their characters through camped up German accents and crazed Nazi values. Their warped perception of Jews is hilarious too. It could’ve landed terribly but is so outrageous it’s hilarious.
The child actors in this film are absolutely brilliant too; completely believable and totally endearing. The friendship between Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) and Yorki (Archie Yates) is so sweet and innocent, you wouldn’t ever tire of their scenes together.
5. We all need Taika Waititi as an imaginary friend
Waititi has created the imaginary friend we never knew we needed, a camped up version of Adolf Hitler! Fabricated in the mind of Jojo, Waititi gives off some wonderful The Producers vibes as he struts around as The Führer, fuelling and corrupting our 10 year old protagonist. From the opening scene together their relationship is hilarious, as Hitler hypes up Jojo to conquer his inner doubts (each time offering the child a cigarette), we can’t help but be in stitches every time Waititi appears on screen.
When asked in interviews why he chose to play Adolf Hitler, Waititi (of Jewish heritage) has answered “what better ‘f**k you’ to the guy?”.
Jojo Rabbit is a film of laughs, emotion and so much heart. The comedy is dark, outrageous and hilarious. It won’t have a long release in cinemas so make sure you see it as soon as possible, it’s really worth it!