What would you prefer the most- a message driven through drama or comedy? While the former stirs emotions, the latter drives the message more powerfully. And this is what Jojo Rabbit does.
This dark-satirical story of a young Nazi boy introduced us to clever piece of cinema that wasn’t crafted to bore the audience with its main message. Ten-year old Johannes aka Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) is indoctrinated with Nazi ideals and joins a youth organization with his best friend Yorki, who is by far the most adorable, and underrated character in the movie. Jojo’s imaginary friend, Hitler, played by director Taika Waititi himself is quite a comical character who appears in every instance dictating Jojo’s ideas and actions.
Jojo’s mother Rosie, played by Scarlett Johansson is a breath of fresh air. Her character in the film is everything we could imagine a mother to be- caring, courageous, protective and liberating. A part of her wants to believe in the ideals of her innocent child blinded by the Nazis, thereby also trying to protect him from the snatches of unreasonable fascism.
While alone at home one day, Jojo finds a Jewish girl in his basement who happens to be his late sister’s friend Elsa (Thomasin Mckenzie). He later realises that his mother had been hiding her for a long time. An intimidated Jojo is eventually seen building a rapport with Elsa. From asking her questions about ‘her kind’ to making up fake letters about her boyfriend, Jojo’s character displays the idiocracy of Nazi ideals and the utter manipulation implanted in the minds of young children.
Cinematographer Mihai Malaimare’s cinematic language and director Taika Waititi’s body of characters is another slice of brilliance to look out for. Scenic shots of old rustic German lanes, and Rosie’s shoes play a vital role in the film. While you enjoy its comical timing and cycle through bylanes with Jojo and Rosie, the visual aspects of the film make sense later.
The movie displays the ridiculous protocol of the Nazis, and director Taiki Waititi doesn’t lose out on narrating the anguish of his characters. From describing Nazi beliefs satirically to Jojo questioning his faith in Hitler, the film’s message came through powerfully. It’s a feel-good movie that makes you laugh without leaving you hanging about its implication.
Jojo Rabbit is a film that you must watch because it’s not the best movie ever made, but simply a movie that you cannot miss watching. Oh, and let’s not forget Yorki. He’s a keeper for life.
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