Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit ★★★★½

There are films that seem so bonkers on paper that you start to doubt how it could ever be working on film because the premise is simply too absurd for words, and yet they fascinate you to death. Jojo rabbit was such a film for me. This shouldn't work. And yet, here we are, watching a film about a little nazi boy with an imaginary Hitler friend who's slowly becoming the total opposite of a fascist. Jojo rabbit is surprisingly touching, as it's about bringing the most unlikely of people closer to eachother in the middle of a world war: a young wannabe nazi (who's actually just looking for a place to fit in) and a jewish girl, hidden in his house behind a secret door. A premise and execution that would never have worked so well without all those incredible performances and Waititi's balanced and restrained direction.

In a similar way as Tarantino did with Inglorious bastards, but in a less violent fashion, Taika Waititi is making an anti-racism statement here in the boldest way possible. The fact that it's filmed from a born to be racist's perspective makes it at first just seem like a weird, meaningless and uncomfortable watch, but soon into the film we learn that his, and his imaginary friend's blind fascism aren't as strong and invincible as it seemed in the first place, especially when his personal situation turns entirely upside down when he finds out his moms "shocking" secret.

When a second, much more relentless turn of faith appears, the film is taking a shocking departure from the mostly fun and touching approach it entered in the first half, making place for the harsh realities of war and the vile psychological conflicts of a confused indoctrinated human being in the second half. The results are sometimes bizarre, sometimes funny and sometimes ferociously brutal, but in the end the sympathetic and essential message remains richly envisioned and clear, and it's all leading up to an utterly satisfying and remarkable conclusion.

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