Movie Review – ‘Jojo Rabbit’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

You may have noticed that I try to do a variety of reviews when it comes to movies and TV – whether it’d be drama, comedy or sci-fi. Well, recently at the cinema, I saw the movie ‘Jojo Rabbit’ that is a comedy-drama film. I did enjoy seeing ‘Jojo Rabbit’ at the cinema, finding it an intriguing experience.

‘Jojo Rabbit’ has become highly rated as a film, receiving six nominations including Best Picture; Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards as well as being nominated for Best Motion Picture for Musical or Comedy and Best Actor for Musical or Comedy. Very amazing!

The film is about a 10-year-old boy living in Nazi Germany who is a Hitler Youth member. He has an imaginary friend in Adolf Hitler and has his Nazi beliefs challenged when his mother keeps a Jewish girl up in the attic. Will Jojo (that the boy’s name) succumb to his Nazi upbringing to expose the Jew?

When I saw the trailers for this movie, I was expecting it to be a wacky comedy featuring Nazis and such. After seeing the film on the big screen, it turned out to not be like what I expected. There were comedic moments granted, but by the second act the movie took on a more serious dramatic turn. 🙂

I was drawn into this movie having discovered that Taika Waititi wrote and directed it. Taika Waititi is already well-known for contributing to the ‘MCU’ film series, having directed ‘Thor: Ragnarok’; having starred in both that and ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and is soon to direct ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’.

The film is based on Christine Leunen’s book called ‘Caging Skies’. Not that I know anything about that book, but it was interesting to see the film adaptation of it. It was also very interesting to see Taika Waititi write, produce and direct a movie which is outside the ‘MCU’ film series for a change. 🙂

Whilst many people rate ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ highly, I have reservations about that film. But I wanted to give Taika Waititi a chance when it came to seeing this movie on the big screen. For what it’s worth, I had a fun time with seeing this historical comedy-drama film that’s thought-provoking and engaging.

It was also amusing to see Taika Waititi play Adolf Hitler, Jojo’s imaginary friend during the film. It’s quite an irony and surreal to see the director star in his own film as the evil dictator inside Jojo’s head. I do wonder how Taika Waitit achieved the look of becoming Hitler being a New Zealander himself.

In case you’re wondering what the movie’s title is referring to, it’s when the boy Jojo is made to kill a rabbit by breaking its neck. When Jojo is unable to do so and runs away, other Hitler Youth members mock him and call him ‘Jojo Rabbit’. It was tense to see Jojo struggle to kill a rabbit in front of others.

The film’s cast also includes Roman Griffin Davies as the title character Jojo (real name: Johannes Betzler), who was very good actor throughout. There’s also Thomasin McKenzie as Elsa, the Jewish girl whom Jojo befriends and there’s Scarlett Johansson (well-known as Black Widow in the ‘MCU’ film series) as Rosie, Jojo’s single mother. I found Scarlett Johansson equally good throughout in this.

For a while, I did wonder where the film was going to go with Jojo in the Hitler Youth before he gets scarred and is having scenes with imaginary friend Adolf Hitler. It gradually kicked in that the story was going to be about Jojo mistrusting and falling in love with Elsa, the Jewish girl hiding in his house.

Yeah this is essentially a love story between 10-year-old Jojo and teenage Jewish girl Elsa. And I don’t mean a romance story of any kind. Although from Jojo’s perspective it could be romantic. I mean a brother-sisterly relationship that grows from Jojo overcoming his racism and prejudice against Jews.

The film also features Sam Rockwell as Captain Klenzendorf; Rebel Wilson as Fräulein Rahm; Alfie Allen as Finkel; Stephen Merchant as Gestapo agent Deertz and Archie Yates as Yorki, Jojo’s best friend in the Hitler Youth. I did enjoy how some of the characters ended up in their journeys here. 😀

So yeah! I had a great time watching ‘Jojo Rabbit’ at the cinema. There were criticisms made about the Nazis portrayed in a comedic light, but ‘Allo ‘Allo’ did that as well. I found the performances of the cast very good throughout this film and it’s one that I recommend for a rollicking comedy-drama.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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