Luke’s review published on Letterboxd:
World War 2 is never an easy subject to tackle in a film, especially when the main focus is on Nazis and the Holocaust. So Taika Waititi approached it in what i think is one of the best ways possible, by showing us what it’s like through the eyes of a ten year old boy living in Nazi Germany and he did it perfectly and I don’t think there is any other filmmaker that could’ve done it any better. And after this movie, Taika Waititi is definitely my 3rd favourite director. What I find most impressive about how he made this movie is how he was able to balance the tones. On the surface, it looks like a comedy, but there are intense moments, up there with the likes of the opening of Inglourious Basterds (Maybe not quite, but you get what I mean), there are heartbreaking and soul crushing moments, this is one of the most emotional films I think I’ve ever seen. But when this movie is a comedy, it’s hilarious. It makes fun of Nazis as much as it can and it does so perfectly. All of the jokes land and all of the actors involved give great performances. I can easily see ScarJo getting a nomination for best supporting actress, Sam Rockwell and Rebel Wilson were great too, just a lot of great comedic delivery of their lines. And the dialogue in this really is great. Waititi did a superb job with the screenplay, and I think it should definitely get nominated. And then there of course is Waititi himself as imaginary Hitler. And he is far from the focus of the movie, which is exactly how it should be, but he does a great job nonetheless. The real focus of this movie is the relationship between Jojo and Elsa. And as a protagonist, Jojo isn’t too likable for the majority of the film, because he’s trying to be a full blown Nazi, but he’s a kid, so he doesn’t understand what it means to be a Nazi, or what War really is. So we come around to him as a character, he grows closer to Elsa and becomes less of a Nazi and by the end of it, it’s one of my favourite character arcs in recent memory and maybe the best child actor performance I’ve ever seen. Roman Griffin Davis and Thomasin McKenzie have brilliant chemistry and their relationship is one of the film’s strongest points. How Waititi is able to present the war to us through Jojo’s eyes and his understanding sort of grounds the war in a way, that it’s easy to take in and understand and make it accessible to younger audiences as well. And there is a moment in the film where the War becomes very real to Jojo and it’s also my favourite scene. But there is one moment in this film, and if you’ve seen the film, you know exactly what I’m talking about, that will destroy you like a truck going 200 miles an hour. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any moment as impactful, and how Waititi set it up, nothing short of genius. But what Waititi is really trying to tell us, is that we shouldn’t forget these past tragedies. That we need to learn from them and ensure they don’t happen again. Jojo Rabbit is an incredible film that I think everyone should watch and it also showcases just how good a filmmaker Taika Waititi is.