Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit ★★★½

A World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy named Jojo whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother is hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler, Jojo must confront his blind nationalism. Before going into a Taika Waititi film, you know what to expect from a Taika Waititi film. This is not a necessarily a bad thing. Waititi has defined a new comedic style that is both oddball and heartwarming at the same time. The perfect example of this before Jojo Rabbit is Hunt for the Wilderpeople as it shares more than one similarity with Jojo Rabbit. This coming-of-age tale at times is handled masterfully by Waititi and the balance of despair and humour works really well. As quickly as he makes you laugh, he soon makes you cry. The blue butterfly scene is expertly directed and handled. However, the tonal shift at times can be distracting with some truly whacky, oddball moments soften the blow of the shock he is trying to create. Although this is clearly intentional, at times it doesn’t suit the subject matter. Needless to say that a Taika Waititi film delivers an ensemble of great performances from its cast. Scarlett Johansson as free-living Rosie is truly heartwarming along with scene- steaming turns from Roman Griffin Davis as Jojo and Thomasin McKenzie as Elsa hammer home the indoctrination and loss of innocence experienced during the atrocities. Waititi as Adolf Hitler is pure Taika, always in touch with his inner-child and chewing up every scene. This is a good film which had potential to be a great film due to tonal shifting and unexplored elements of some its characters is all made up by the emotional and cathartic finale topped off with a beautiful use of a truly classic song.