A young boy who dreams of big things in the Nazi Party gets a change in life when meeting a Jewish girl.
Director/actor Taika Waititi brings forth a satirical comedy that may not sit well with many folks due to sensitive subjects. But for me, this project put a smile on my face.
The film was supported by good characters and good acting. Each one had a distinct voice/charming characteristic about them. Making it very interesting to watch on-screen, especially whenever they start to play off one another or have conversations.
The main protagonist, Jojo, was very good at portraying a wide-eyed and curious child. In fact, all of the child actors played good in their roles. Scarlett Johansson, Jojo’s mother Rosie, was fun to see. As she was a person who wanted to support her son to be apart of the war, but also not to spend so much time thinking of it 24/7. The Jewish girl, Elsa, was fun to watch whenever she had to say the “truth” about Jews.
Lots of the chemistry was sweet, funny, and feel-good. The relationships between Rosie/Jojo, Jojo/Elsa, and Elsa/Rosie was there. In made one feel as if they were a family. This tidbit was straightened as one saw a photo of Jojo’s deceased sister. A connection between the three was created and one didn’t want to see anything bad happen to either one of them. But when it did happen, it hit.
Now the one prominent character was, of course, the imaginary friend, Hitler. Taika Waititi did a fairly funny take on the character and he delivered some good lines whenever he spoke to Jojo.
Some of the biggest laughs of the film had to deal with either the comedic take on the Nazis’ or the conversations between Jojo/Elsa. While granted there was a good number of jokes that didn’t land and it can be cheesy from time to time, but for the most part, it worked nicely.
An interesting note I want to make was the parallel between Jojo and his camp officer, Klenzendorf, played by Sam Rockwell. Both of them want to be larger than life figures, they had imaginary friends, and the two have a face-related injury.
One thing that I kept asking myself was that I wanted more. More of what? Well in the trailer, there was another one of Jojo’s friends that were shown, Yorkie. He wasn’t in the movie that much and I thought it would he would be in it a little longer. There were a couple times where I forgot he was in the movie. It was a shame because he delivered some hilarious quotes.
I wanted to have a little more scenes of the “family” trio. I wanted to have more of the Nazi camp as they had some quite funny bits. I guess the director was trying to give short but sweet moments in the film. Which I suppose worked but those things weren’t the main focus, as it was about the relationship between Jojo/Elsa and how Jojo changed for the better.
In terms of the tone, I did feel uneven at times. As I mentioned, the satirical nature of the Nazis’ worked good, but there were moments where it was almost about to cross the line. The best example for me was when Hitler started ranting toward Jojo. It made me get back to reality and think to myself that this was still Hitler. It did get a little overdramatic during the scenes of Jojo surrounded by war during the climax.
“Jojo Rabbit,” it had a standard plot about the protagonist realizing the better side of humanity. But it was delivered well with good performances, nice satirical comedy, and it offered emotional connections for some of the characters. I definitely recommend it.
YouTube: Tk Theater Productions