I know it’s a little late, but I wanted the hype to settle before recommending this week’s choice. I also felt like spring would be a good season to watch this movie in, although it’s pretty much timeless, it’s that good. This week’s pick is Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit.
The story centers around 10-year old Jojo, Adolf Hitler’s ultimate fan during World War II, as he discovers a teenage Jewish girl is hiding in his house.
Let’s get straight to the facts, shall we?
1. If you think “there’s no way this is a comedy,” then you’re wrong. It’s a hilarious movie, but that doesn’t make it any less legit. It discusses very important issues in a comical way, but not by making fun of them, and the tone is just right for what the story wants to communicate. The entire point of it being a comedy is making us see how absurd nazi ideology is.
2. It’s peppered in with beautiful, real, rich moments of emotion that can and probably will bring a tear to your eyes. These moments aren’t cheesy, they aren’t in your face, they’re simply real, and more importantly, earned by the storytelling, and they pack just the right amount of emotion.
3. Taika Waititi plays Hitler and that should automatically make you want to watch it.
4. Speaking of actors, lil’ Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) is the most adorable kid I have ever seen in my life. He’s so fun to watch, so lovely to see grow, and hilarious to listen to. Jojo’s dialogue is just like an adult’s, he’s mature but in such a way that it makes him hilarious to listen to because you can’t believe stuff like that can come out of a 10 year old’s mouth. Which brings me to point-
5. Surprisingly, most of the stuff I found absurd and comical apparently were legit during the war. Like the cool kid camp that trains kids Jojo’s age to handle grenades and other weapons, and essentially kill enemies of Germany, or the girls attending camp who had to learn how to make pure Aryan babies. If you’ve seen the movie and thought Rebel Wilson was joking when she said that, well unfortunately she wasn’t. This is why Jojo speaking the way he does and having the ideologies he has might seem funny, but it’s actually frighteningly true.
6. Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie) is so great. She doesn’t magically convince Jojo to change his mind about nazism, but she handles him in such a way that he realizes he’s in the wrong on his own. She shows so much depth, toying with Jojo with confidence but also expressing her fear to Jojo’s mom, Rosie (Scarlett Johansson). Her eventual friendship with Jojo was so endearing to watch, it will make you shed a few tears.
7. The cinematography is beautiful. What can I say, it looks very European, and you can tell actual Europeans were in charge of photography and visuals. World War II Germany was recreated beautifully, and the scenery and framing made the movie that much nicer to watch.
8. The hanging scene. Enough said.
9. Although it discusses some very strong issues, it doesn’t get preachy about anything. It shouldn’t even have to, considering the topic. Nazism is bad, people!
10. The ending is wonderful and incredibly satisfying to watch.
So there ya have it, without too many spoilers, I hope at least one of these reasons convinced you to give Jojo Rabbit a watch. Or a rewatch, if you are an intellectual and already saw it.
I leave you with the quote the movie ends on, a quote that really hammered in that “crying audience” feel. See you next week!
"Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final."