Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit ★★★★½

I mostly know Taika Waititi from his more overt comedic movies/roles, such as Thor Ragnarok and What We Do in the Shadows. While JoJo rabbit definitely has that same oddball sense of humor, its a far more dramatic and at time sad movie. To be perfectly honest, having seen Thor, I wasn't entirely certain the director COULD pull off melding of those two elements. Jojo Rabbit more than proves me wrong.

One of the most oddball elements comes in play with the kid's imaginary friend, a goofball child's imagined Adolf Hitler. While at first this seems to just be an odd source of comedy, it's an actually pretty damn effective metaphor for the allure of fanaticism. At first, pseudoHitler seems to not be such a bad influence....he gives the character confidence and provides moral support, encouraging Jojo that he is indeed special. Of course, pseudoHitler is just one element of the boys mind, a devil on his shoulder so to speak. And as the film goes on we see that he is also the embodiment of the hate and ignorance of the idealogy that Jojo has embraced. Honestly this might just be the most creative way I have seen a director explore the conflict between racist and fanatical idealogies, and actual experience, the insidious ID that is trying to overrule what a person himself experiences.

Honestly, ever element of this movie lands for me, from the dramatic notes to the humorous elements to the casting. I am probably late to the party on this movie, but if you haven't seen this, its well worth checking out.