So basically Jojo Rabbit is the story of a 10-year-old boy, Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis), living in what is essentially Nazi Germany’s last days, though being a kid, he doesn’t realise this. Forced by his mother to become a member of the Hitler Youth, Jojo finds himself being sent off to a training camp where he gets bullied for refusing to kill a rabbit, and obviously this is where his nickname comes from. To cope with the pressures of his life, Jojo invents an imaginary friend for himself in the form of Adolf Hitler (played marvelously by Taika Waititi), who gives the boy advice and encouragement. Bad advice mostly, I mean it is Hitler after all. Jojo is a tiny, state-manufactured fanatic.
But even his imaginary friend struggles to cope with the discovery that Jojo’s mum is hiding a JEW!
Jojo Rabbit is a funny, sobering, emotional ride. We, of course, expect Taika’s Hitler to be a riot and he is, but Roman Griffin Davis and his Jewish sidekick Thomasin McKenzie absolutely own the show, with of course help from the on-form Sam Rockwell and the boy can she nail a serious role Scarlett Johansson.
Taika somehow bought together the best people for the job, even though on paper – I mean Rebel Wilson for fucks sake – it just doesn’t look like this group of people could ever hold a movie together, but they get woven through so many levels and plot directions in a way that just works so perfectly.
And boy can Taika deliver a brutal sucker punch. Ouch. But still manages to keep things funny and serious at the same time.
And that quote at the end, perfect and I can’t stop thinking about the film.
Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final
Rainer Maria Rilke
Rating: M Reccomended for a mature audience 16 years and over. NOTE: Violence & content that may disturb.