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JoJo Rabbit

All Areas > Entertainment > Film Review

Author: Joe Kennett, Posted: Monday, 27th January 2020, 09:00

Thomasin McKenzie (left) as Elsa and Roman Griffin Davis as Jojo. Picture: 20th Century Fox Thomasin McKenzie (left) as Elsa and Roman Griffin Davis as Jojo. Picture: 20th Century Fox

Directed by and starring Taika Waititi, ‘JoJo Rabbit’ is an inadvertently charming story of a young German boy, JoJo (Roman Griffin Davis), facing the terror of his own Nazi ideologies.

Combining heart-wrenching drama with face-achingly silly comedy, Waititi manages to hit the mark on bringing reality to ideas that, for most of us in the modern age, are near impossible to get on board with.

JoJo Betzler, unable to join the Nazi regiment after an embarrassingly tragic incident involving a grenade at Hitler Youth Training Camp, is faced with a dilemma when he finds that his single mother Rosie (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl in their family home.

Having to face up to his irrational nationalism, he is accompanied only by his imaginary friend – Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi).

Making his big-screen debut, Roman Griffin Davis personifies the intense emotions of any childhood, and is lovable from start to end as JoJo, despite his intense anti-Semitic views, imagining Jews as (quite literally) the spawn of Satan.

Already nominated for a Golden Globe and a Critics’ Choice Movie Award, Griffin Davis is a face cinema goers should be keen to see on our screens again sometime soon.

Another notable mention goes to Johansson, impeccably portraying Rosie Betzler with all the flair and courage the character deserves, who stands firmly against the immoral nature of her country.

Taika Waititi supports, uncomfortably making Hitler likeable in a way I never thought I would experience. There’s something about the picture of him skipping through woodlands with a 10-year-old boy that I’m not sure will ever leave me.

The humour is at times forced, but the foundations of the film are outrageously funny, and the laugh-a-minute thrills pace the film perfectly, complimented by moments full of heart, joy, and at times, bitter tragedy, which bring cold reality to the absurdity that ensues.

Waititi is onto a winner and it’s ‘JoJo Rabbit’, which stands on legs taller even than his previous direction with ‘Thor: Ragnarok’.

This is a landmark for all film to reach to in 2020 – if it’s anything to go by, then we’re in for a fantastic year of film.

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