Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit ★★★

Bizarre. That’s the best word I can use to describe this. Is it a ‘good’ bizarre? Err…….I’d have to say no, not for me. 

Despite not laughing out loud once (I smiled frequently but didn’t laugh), I thought the humour for the most part was pretty solid, and it contributed a tonne to me having a fairly enjoyable watch. The directing was very impressive for the first half, but weakened a little towards the second half I thought (it was kinda as if the director ran out of steam and started putting his attention into other aspects of the movie instead). I thought the friend character (the fat kid) was a terrible character too, who was a noticeably weak child actor and his character added nothing worthwhile and felt like a waste of screen time. Plus the very end is inferior to what came about 10 minutes prior to it. I know this is a weird suggestion and many of you will look at me strangely for this one, but if Jojo Rabbit ended at that shot of the our leads watching the night air raid with explosions lighting up the sky, I would’ve given it a higher star rating and called it a much better and perfect ending. Because what had happened in the minutes prior, was clearly the highlight of the movie for me. From where Jojo tries to hold the droopy posters up against the wall to this night raid shot, is perfection, and 5 star worthy. The emotion released is superb, the bit with the knife is incredible, and as I already mentioned that night raid shot is the cherry on top………but the movie doesn’t stop, and of course we have to see the stupid fat kid again. I am happy we got a conclusion to Captain K’s (that’s his name right? Whatever, Sam Rockwell’s character’s) arc, and the dancing bit is great, but other than that there’s nothing of value to what follows. And I’m extremely disappointed in that scene where Jojo finally kicks Hitler out of his mind, because it’s so anticlimactic and treated with no where near the level of respect or emotion/power it deserved. 

Other than that though, I only have one complaint. The problem is, it’s a major one. Although the humour kinda worked for me, the tone did not. Maybe this is because I’ve studied WW2 Germany somewhat extensively in history class, going through the Hitler Youth’s and the barbaricness (oh wait, ‘barbaricness’ isn’t a word? I meant ‘barbarous’ apparently) that went on, and it’s made me incapable of simply laughing it off in this sense. Look, if the tone works for you then I’m more than glad, it just doesn’t work for me, and it prevents me from fully getting engaged and onboard with what the movie is trying to do. Same can be said about the ‘romance’ between our leads, which was super strange and off-putting, I dunno I really struggled to get behind it at all. Usually I’m completely fine with age gaps and ‘kid crushes’ and such, but this one was just…….weird, and not it. Same with all the swearing or sex jokes or ‘Hitler idiot’ humour; none of it sat right with me, and is ultimately the main reason as to why I didn’t like it as much as I otherwise would’ve, and have given it 3 stars. I genuinely have no idea if this sort of tonal issue and ‘disconnect’ for me can be instantly fixed on a rewatch, so we’ll see if that’s the case down the line. I never like seeing ‘I just couldn’t get into it’ as reasons for not liking a film, but unfortunately I’m going to have to use it here myself, because it properly explains my situation. In fact I’ll sum up my thoughts of this movie in a single sentence; ‘for myself, the mixture wasn’t right’, and that quote right there covers all the bases really, because Jojo Rabbit is an inconsistent film from where I sit, with some straight up cringe and garbage and some other sections that are all-timers for me. Other than that one all-timer section though, the negatives I have far outweigh the positives, and it’s why this’ll unfortunately rank quite low in my rankings.

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