Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit ★★★★

All 10 year old Jojo Betzler wants out of life is to be a good little Nazi and to join the ranks of the Jungvolk. And yet somehow his heart really isn't in it. He can't bring himself to kill a little rabbit on his first day of training, and even a pep talk from his imaginary friend Adolph Hitler only results in him blowing himself up, which somewhat curtails his burgeoning military career.

Obviously I had my misgivings about this film's premise, as I'm sure many others have too, for some that feeling hasn't gone away after viewing the film, and I get that, this is a fairly broad comedy and mixing that with Naziism is not going to be to everyone's taste. But I'm the sort of person who believes that Blazing Saddles is cinema's greatest commentary of racism.

I'm not going to say that it's not without its problems. The ending in particular, and the idea that all of a sudden, with the Nazis vanquished, that everyone can just go back to their lives as if nothing had happened, as if it was just a bad dream from which Germany had awakened and that all the unpleasantness can be instantly forgotten, does not sit well with me. And of course there is the perennial problem with the idea of the 'good' Nazi.

It is material which has is bound to offend some, mostly those who haven't seen it, but I can understand people thinking that this is inappropriate. But do you know who's going to be most offended? Nazis. They really don't seem to have a great sense of humour, and I'm guessing they won't have taken kindly to seeing A. Hitler portrayed as someone whose desperate insecurity comes across even as an imaginary playmate.

Roman Griffin Davis as Jojo is tremendous, it's not one of those grown-up performances you see all too often, he's just a kid who thinks he knows what he's supposed to be. Even better though is Archie Yates as Yorki, his actual friend, who gets all the best lines, and who even more than Jojo is managing to figure out for himself that not everything he's been told is necessarily true.

Personally I wish Taika Waititi would stay away from Marvel and stick to stuff like Boy and Hunt for the Wilderpeople and this.

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