In this Jojo Rabbit movie review, you’ll get spoilers so read at your own risk. Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi trades a buffoonish Norse god for a buffoonish Nazi dictator in Jojo Rabbit, and the reactions to the new movie have been positive overall, with a few naysayers. Critics who saw it at its Toronto International Film Festival premiere are either totally on board with the goofy World War II satire, in which Waititi portrays Adolf Hitler as a boy’s imaginary friend, or they’re not completely sold on it.
Following in the footsteps of Life is Beautiful, Jojo Rabbit is being noted for its mix of humor and heart in the face of tragic times. Before going any further, check out the trailer from below:
Taika Waititi as Hitler
Jojo Betzler, a 10-years old German child was obsessed of becoming Nazi, and has an imaginary friend named Adolf Hitler.
Greeting is done by saying Heil Hitler, it’s the way of saying Hi! During Nazi time which was actually weird.
Jojo, and his second best friend Yorki, attempting Hitler youth training Camp.
Jojo’s father went on war and never came back. It was 2 years since his disappearance and no one heard from him.
This made his father coward according to the German and Nazi people.
This made Jojo scared, and when told to kill a rabbit, he tried to make that rabbit escape instead of killing.
This was the moment where Jojo got a made up name from the people named “Jojo Rabbit”.
Captain Klenzendrof, a soldier who was making children learn how to throw bombs.
But Jojo took the bomb and in order to throw it away, it bounced back to him after hitting a tree and gots scars on his face.Too he wasn’t able to walk properly.
But why did he take the bomb after being called coward and Jojo Rabbit?
What made him do that?
It was Hitler, his imaginary friend, who motivates him to fight back and prove he’s not a coward.
Jojo goes home with his kind-hearted mother, Rosie, who nurses him back to health.
Rosie is very loving and tells him he will heal soon enough, but Jojo is sad that he will not be able to join Hitler’s personal guard.
She convinces Jojo to come with her to Klezendorf’s office.
She then insists that Klezendorf and the others look after Jojo during the day and make him feel included.
Klezendorf introduces Jojo to the others, telling them that he has been demoted for letting Jojo get hit by the grenade.
Rahm suggests that Jojo can help them by “walking the clones,” and points to a group of blonde clones sitting nearby.
She also says he could deliver conscriptions and hand out propaganda. Rahm tries to give Jojo a gun, but Rosie stops her from giving it to her son.
After he has hung up some propaganda, Jojo finds his mother, who is looking at a group of resistance workers who were hanged by the Gestapo.
Rosie urges him to look, and he asks her what they did. “What they could,” she replies, and they go home.
The Jew Girl
When Jojo returns home, miffed that he cannot fight in Hitler’s army, he hears an unusual creaking upstairs in his house.
He calls for his mother, but when she does not answer, he goes to investigate in his sister’s room.
He pries open a small door and finds a girl hiding inside. Startled, he screams and runs into the room.
The girl follows him as he runs towards the stairs, and tumbles down the staircase.
When he asks her if she’s a ghost, the girl laughs and says, “Sure.”
As Jojo runs towards the door, the girl pushes him against the wall and threatens him.
She reveals that she is Jewish and that Rosie invited her to stay there.
Then, pulls out his dagger and threatens to cut his head off. She takes his dagger and goes back upstairs.
Jojo runs to his room, where imaginary Hitler is waiting for him.
They discuss the fact that the girl probably used her mind powers to get into the house, and they strategize about what to do next.
Jojo puts a pan on top of his head and knocks on the compartment door.
When the girl doesn’t open up, Jojo yells to her that she ought to find somewhere else to live, but she appears behind him and scares him away.
Jojo runs to his room again, where Hitler tries to offer him a cigarette.
“When someone tries to use mind powers on me, know what I do? Use mind powers back on them,” says Hitler, giving Jojo some advice.
Rosie’s intention on war
Abruptly, Hitler tells Jojo he has to go home for dinner—tonight he’s having a unicorn
And advises Jojo to control the Jewish girl while she is living there.
When Rosie arrives home that night, Jojo is still awake. She goes to tie his shoelaces (he does not know how) and he tells her, “I heard her.”
Rosie is shocked, as he tells her he heard the ghost of his sister, Inge. Relieved, Rosie kisses his forehead and tells him he has gone crazy, before going into the kitchen and looking for some knives.
Later, Rosie tucks Jojo into bed and teaches him to wink. Then she goes to the attic and speaks to the girl, whose name is Elsa.
Elsa was a friend of Rosie’s late daughter, Inge, and Rosie discusses the fact that she does not want Jojo to be such a Nazi.
She mourns the loss of her daughter, hoping she is not just a ghost. “Perhaps we’re all ghosts now, we just don’t know it,” Elsa says.
Rosie tells her that no matter what, Elsa must not lose faith, and that as long as she is alive, the Nazis have not won.
The next day, Jojo swims in a pool. We see imaginary Hitler under the water with a gun. After he swims, Jojo lies on a couch as Rahm stretches his legs.
Rosie comes over and tells him she needs to go and that she will see him at home. Jojo goes up to Klezendorf and asks what he should do if he sees a Jew.
Klezendorf tells him to tell them, they will tell the Gestapo, and then the Gestapo will kill the Jew and probably the people who helped the Jew.
“Even if the Jew hypnotized someone to make them hide them in the first place?” Jojo asks, thinking of his mother, but Klezendorf thinks that is unlikely. Rahm moves towards them and tells them that a Jew hypnotized her uncle into being a gambler and an alcoholic.
Jojo and Elsa
The end of the film is marked by the end of World War II, as the Allies manage to gain the upper hand and Hitler commits suicide.
This dissolution of the Nazi reign corresponds with Jojo’s budding friendship with the Jewish girl living in his attic.
Jojo comes into a kind of moral consciousness and realizes that he was never a very good Nazi to begin with.
His imaginary Hitler has less of a hold on his point of view, and he wanders the streets of the city in civilian clothes rather than his Nazi uniform.
Rather than fight on either side of the war-
Jojo elects to remain unaffiliated in the final sequence, choosing to hide in a small hole under a building, waiting for the violence to subside.
Caught in between his personal history of vehement Nazism and the combination of his budding alliance with a Jewish girl and his realization that the Nazis have lost.
Jojo finds himself in a kind of moral limbo-
taking shelter and waiting out the violence rather than jumping into the fray as he might have before.
When he emerges, the Nazis have vanished from the city, and people wave American flags.
The ridiculous and cold-hearted Klezendorf becomes an unlikely ally in the final sequence of the film.
When he meets Jojo in the line of Nazis who will be punished by the Allied troops-
he comforts Jojo about the loss of his mother and then pretends that Jojo is a Jew in order to convince the Allied soldiers to let Jojo leave and go home.
In the end, Jojo lies to Elsa and tells her that Germany won, in a last-ditch effort to get her to stay.
When he once again pretends that a letter has arrived from Nathan-
Elsa confesses that Nathan has long been dead, and that she is alone in the world.
The two children share an awkward and sweet affection for one another, as they are all the other has.
The ending is a bittersweet one, as we watch two young people step out into a world full of possibility, but that has been ravaged by tragedy and war.
Here’s one clip from the movie:
Jojo Rabbit movie success
Despite winning the top prize at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival-
Jojo Rabbit is already one of the most divisive awards season releases of the fall, and for completely understandable reasons.
For others, though, Jojo Rabbit will be happy/sad cinema at its finest and a meaningful WWII satire that actually finds something new to say about Nazi Germany and fascism altogether.
Whichever way one falls, it’s hard not to at least admire an Oscar contender for being as daring and otherwise eccentric as this one is.
Roman Griffin Davis
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