Jarrel Montes’s review published on Letterboxd:
Jojo's blind fanaticism.
This brought so many emotions on the table that by the end I didn't know how to feel, and in a sense that's how it must've felt after the war, especially through the eyes of an innocent boy who sadly suffered through things beyond what he could comprehend. The shift in tone from beginning to end is apparent but still took me by surprise when a director who I thought would just joke around all the time, actually took it to a grounded and realistic level with enough sincerity to be taken seriously. Jojo is such a sweet heart of a character who was obviously gaslighted by the Nazis, not so uncommon to happen back then and actually sounds tragic on paper, but this shows a funnier side to it since after all kids are just kids and they all probably thought it was just a game. Yorki is an adorable and hilarious side character that needed more lines, he also represented a different type of kid mentality with his experiences through the war.
There's some deeper narrative with the imaginary Hitler friend, which helped enforce the gaslighting further with how entranced the youth must have been with Hitler. Much of the horrors of war are veiled by comedy through Jojo's innocent nazi duties and adventures, but sometimes seeps out especially with his mother's sad arc. Sam Rockwell had my attention with his role, another character who had some depth in its writing who also had some child like traits with how he viewed the war. The final act is predictable but still offered a substantial climax with a melancholic ending.
Overall a great watch, glad I finally got to check this out and is definitely Taika's best work. Recommended to anyone who hates nazis!