A lonely German boy with Adolf Hitler as an imaginary friend, soon discovers that his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic in the peak of World War II.
At a time where cinema has done nothing but vomit out mild reboots and lukewarm sequels, this satirical standalone film is EXACTLY what we need in theaters today. "JoJo Rabbit" is one of a kind indeed. Bearing a subject that no one would dare to touch, the film surprisingly holds some of the best laughs of the year as well as a huge heart. This is the kind of film I like to see. Satires are a tough genre to nail, but "JoJo Rabbit" does it flawlessly.
So you heard it right. JoJo is a young German boy who only has one friend, Adolf Hitler. He’s in training to fight the war in association with the Nazi’s, but he can’t seem to find the guts to kill. Things take a sharp turn once he finds a Jewish girl hiding in his attic, under the supervision of his mother. Now, he has a decision to make; whether to fight for his people or to fight for what’s right.
Obviously this is an extremely controversial story and many viewers chose not support it based off of historical events alone, but trust me, this film is far from what is seems. It’s a coming of age film that perfectly captures the trials and tribulations of a young boy during this time. The story undergoes a variety of levels that runs very smoothly. The run time is not overwhelming, and the German accents are crystal clear. Yes, it is a fictional story with no rules so don’t expect to enter the theater daunting a history lesson. Instead, be prepared for a fun, upbeat experience that will undoubtedly hit close to home.
If you’ve ever seen a Wes Anderson film (Moonrise Kingdom, Isle of Dogs, The Grand Budapest Hotel), then you’ll love the way this film was shot. The cinematography is extremely animated with bold colors and a divisive color palette. Very similar to a novel, the visuals are picturesque and very unique to the story. This is definitely one of the best shots of the year.
Director Taika Waititi is one to keep an eye on. After showing the world his chops by making Thor: Ragnarok, he proves once again that he can wear any hat in cinema, and that’s not only for directing. Taika plays Hitler in this film and his performance is fantastic. He steals every scene. I thought the sight of this infamous dictator would be distracting and uncomfortable, but that is not the case. Taika more so presents Hitler as a rambunctious lunatic and it’s hysterical. Very smart idea. In addition, Roman Griffin Davis who plays JoJo delivers a wonderful performance with a wide range of emotion. He carries the movie flawlessly and I won’t be surprised if we see more of him in the near future. Other notable performances are Scarlett Johansson as the mother, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson (hilarious), and Thomasin McKenzie as the fearless Jew. With a film that already reached new heights, the performances made the experience much more grand.
If you want to see an original picture with a limited release, I highly suggest this film. It’s a great time and far better than most of what we’ve seen this year.
As we close out the year, the peak of 2019 has begun.