Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Jojo Rabbit

Well I feel like an ass for not seeing this earlier.

When I saw the trailers for this I knew one day I was going to see it, if for no other reason than just to see what Taika Waititi would do with this material. And I can safely say I'm not disappointed at all, Jojo Rabbit is a pretty dang good movie! It's not so heavy on the comedy that there isn't any emotional or quiet moments, believe me there is, but it's also not so heavy on drama that you can't get a chuckle out of it. I really have no idea how he can blend comedy and drama so well, but the juxtaposition is felt throughout. Just the basic idea of a young boy just 10 years of age who is a fanatic for nazi Germany and even has an imaginary friend of Adolf, who is very much confronted about his beliefs by a young jewish girl is interesting cinema and grabs your attention in a death grip almost from start to finish. It genuinely is very funny, the film almost deconstructs nazism during that time during the waning months of World War 2, not exactly picking the holes of the ideology but just the individuals who participate in it. I mean the writing is really good stuff, complete class but without these specific performances I don't think it would have had that strong an impact. Roman Griffin Davis is a great lead despite his age, simultaneously capturing that patriotic spirit of Germany at that time and yet you can clearly see it's not blind faith and that he doesn't agree with everything that they do. It's really something special. Taika Waititi being a very colorful, random, and bizzare imaginary Adolf Hitler has great moments that made me laugh and you can tell he's having fun just being a parody of this man and the fact he himself is of jewish descent makes it that much better. Scarlett Johansson is off her rocker in this movie, she is so odd and yet incredibly endearing and amazing, I mean you know I loved her. Sam Rockwell playing a degraded natzi who isn't near the war effort is as funny as it thinks, this guy is a bit camp, totally non-serious, and kind of is fun to watch no matter what scene he's in. But Thomasin McKenzie just nails it, I daresay she's the best written character in the movie as Elsa and the acting is amazing, you kinda think the relationship between Jojo and Elsa would be more akin to say, The Boy In The Striped Pajamas where they meet and become friends only for the tragedy of war and evil to rip them apart. Far from it actually, they don't get along, they bicker and call each other names, they really get under each other's skin and you can see she enjoys spinning tales for this kid that she can't stand, it's a very conflicted relationship as you think it would be and it takes almost the whole movie for them to put aside their differences. Which is I something I really like, it would have been easy to make them friends and not confront the stigmas of the time period but they didn't do that. I will say the movie hit me and it hit me friggin' hard man, mainly because I had no idea it was coming and when it did it was like someone threw daggers into me, I was shocked incredibly so, I suspected something bad would happen but not really sure what. And while the movie ended on a very upbeat note, I couldn't help but think what would come next for Jojo after all the war ended and the nazi's as one newspaper headliner once put it "call it quits", it reminded me a bit of Grave Of The Fireflies with the young boy just fuming that Japan surrendered despite the cataclysmic horrors that befell the country before that decision. It just really makes you think about that turbulent time for the world, and how much we've moved on since then and I can't really recall a war movie did that for me. This was a great movie, an easy 4 stars, 8/10, I highly recommend this movie and we got one more before the week is out.

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