Director: Taika Waititi
Writer: Taika Waititi
Cast: Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, Alfie Allen

Jojo, a naive German boy with Hitler as his imaginary friend, finds out his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl. He must confront his blindness towards the hatred against Jewish people, as he’s a Nazi fan.

The innocence of JoJo

The premise of this film is around Jojo, a young child who is indoctrinated by Nazi ideology. All the children go to a “Hitler Youth camp.” There, they learn to hate the Jews at a very young age. The camp leaders teach them how Jews absurdly differentiate from the Germans.

For these kids, this hatred is considered “normal.” It shows how easy it is to influence younger people, as they are still naive.

Jojo starts out as a Nazi fan with an imaginary friend Hitler. Funny enough, Hitler is being played by Taiki Waititi himself. And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I enjoyed seeing him on-screen because there was a comedic tone to it. He made me crack up all the time.

What I love about the movie “Jojo Rabbit” is his naivety. He has been told to hate, but experience tells him otherwise. You can feel the conflict clash with his ideology.

This all starts to happen when he finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl.

Funny, but also touchy

“Jojo Rabbit” may take place during World War II, but the movie is still a comedy. The movie makes fun of the Nazi absurd ideology. Taika Waititi brings this in a good way, where this will make you laugh.

Even Hitler, he isn’t portrayed as an angry, shouting man. As he is an imaginary friend of Jojo, he is shown how a kid would characterize him. There is a cartoonish vibe around him.

Every bit of mockery aims at people, behavior, and ideology. All the Nazi characters are heightened and exaggerated for comic relief.

At first, this movie will make you laugh and feel at ease, but this is still during wartime. This may take you off guard, and then it hits you with the consequences of war. Taika Waititi does a splendid job by combining both comedy and heartfelt drama in one film.

The first conflict begins with Jojo discovering the Jewish girl “Elsa” in his house. As he tries to learn about her “kind, ” he begins to see Elsa as a real person and not the monster, he was told she to be.

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Rosie

Scarlett Johansson stands out as Jojo’s mother, Rosie. I have never seen her in such a role, and probably one of her best performances.

She had to use a German accent, and she actually made me believe she was German.

Out of all the hatred towards the Jews, Rosie stands ground and can see through it while confronting it. She does not want her son involved in her beliefs to protect him, but she tries to bring a feeling of joy and optimism.

Conclusion

Taika Waititit uses the story of “Jojo Rabbit” to reflect on today’s society. It shows how easy it is to manipulate people, especially kids, into hating minorities, religions, or other groups of people.

We live in a time where there is a lot of fake news and social media presence. This all influences the way we think.

By the end of the day, compassion and love are still worth embracing. We have to confront the cruelty of the world by ourselves and not let others misguide you.

4 stars