VIFF 2019 | 'JoJo Rabbit' Movie Review
Some kids go to summer camp. Some go to space camp. But in Jojo Rabbit, 10-year-old Jojo is ecstatic to go to Nazi camp. Watching the children’s excitement for learning Hitler-inspired ideologies is both cringe-worthy and hilarious, and that’s just the start of the dark comedy entertainment that Jojo Rabbit succeeds at.
In this film, Jojo along with his imaginary friend and idol, Adolf Hitler, unwittingly discover that Jojo’s mom, Rosie (Scarlett Johannson), is hiding a young Jewish girl in their home. Conflicted about what to do, Jojo begins interacting with the girl, and despite the beliefs his community and imaginary pal Adolf is encouraging him to endorse, Jojo begins to realize that what he’s been taught might be wrong.
Jojo Rabbit is colorful and vibrant…seemingly wide-eyed like its young protagonist despite the grizzly WWII era it takes place in. And for the most part, the comedy works well ranging from chuckle worthy to a handful of hilarious laugh out loud moments.
Additionally, the story of Jojo (who is played by the infectiously charming Roman Griffin Davis) is supported by a well-crafted cast of supporting characters, including a comically endowed Adolf played by writer and director Taika Waititi and an endearing performance from Johannson.
The story might come off as cliche or predictable, but that’s not the point here. It’s the relationships Jojo develops and values that imbues power in the presentation. The payoff in the end is about as satisfying as conclusions this year can get.
Acting and Casting - 2 | Visual Effects and Editing - 2 | Story and Message - 1 | Entertainment Value - 2 | Music Score and Soundtrack - 1 | Reviewer's Preference - 2 | What does this mean?