Quick Take: Jojo Rabbit
From all the buzz I'd heard, Taika Waititi's new film Jojo Rabbit seems to have divided people from those who loved it to those who were offended by its irreverent take on such a serious subject like the holocaust. This isn't the first time comedies about the holocaust have been attempted (not that I'd classify Jojo as solely a comedy either as it's more of a dramedy,) but no matter when it is attempted people usually take a deep breath in hoping for the best. In the case of Jojo Rabbit, the film focuses on a young German boy named Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) who is obsessed with Nazi propaganda and pride for his country during WWII. In fact, he even has an imaginary best friend Hitler played by Taika Waititi himself (most likely the source of most people's discomfort with the film.) His world is soon turned upside down when he discovers that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in the attic of his own home. After getting off to a rocky start, he soon discovers the humanity within her and has to take a look at the things he really believes.
Not everything works in Jojo Rabbit. In fact the weak link here is undoubtedly Taika's Hitler who thankfully is used less as the film goes on. The use of him didn't offend me, but he also wasn't totally necessary to get the point across either. That said, there's a lot of great things this film has to offer. The film is really funny and also full of heart. The best part of it is undoubtedly the performance of its adorable lead Davis. He really is great in this part and sells everything this film is trying to do. My only regret is he's forced to utter the F word near the end of the film which makes it hard to recommend to everyone. Scarlett Johansson is also the best she's been in ages as his hopeful idealist mother trying to do the right thing. Thomasin McKenzie also does a solid job in her role and her scenes with Davis are the best part of the film. Overall Jojo Rabbit is a really good film that will make you laugh, smile and maybe even cry. RATING: 8/10