Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit ★★★★½

First review:

My first rewatch and I still think that “Jojo Rabbit” is a fantastic movie. It´s heartfelt, passionate, and well-made.

The most impressive aspect is probably the balancing of the tones. Some parts are laugh out loud funny, others are heartbreaking, some are cute, others are poignant. The absurd satirical humor ridicules the right people and ideas, while the drama aspect is treated with compassion and sensitivity. In the beginning, the film makes you feel safe with its light tone, high gag frequency, and colorful mis-en-scene (representing the naïve, rose-colored perspective of the child protagonist), but it soon harshly confronts you with the horror of living in Nazi Germany. Ultimately, it´s a unique and empathetic exploration of childhood indoctrination that demonstrates that the best cure against racist prejudices is actually interacting with people different from you, listening to their stories, and witnessing their humanity.

Taika Waititi´s imaginary Hitler is hilarious and probably infuriating to neo-Nazis (which is always a good thing), but I respect the director for not making his character overshadow the film. He trusts his young stars Roman Griffin Davis and Thomasin McKenzie to carry the movie, which they do with impressive ease. They are both incredibly charismatic and talented and their carefully developed relationship is sweet, charming, entertaining, and heartwarming. In supporting roles, Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell show their class, and the young Archie Yates is the most adorable scene stealer I´ve seen in a while. Other highlights are the compelling direction, beautiful aesthetic, great use of music, and clever foreshadowing.

I can understand, if you find the whole approach towards the subject matter inappropriate, but if you´re on board with the concept, you should have a good time with “Jojo Rabbit”. Personally, I think it´s a breath of fresh air. It has the heart in the right place, is masterfully executed, and makes me feel all different kinds of emotions.

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