Friday, November 13, 2020

Jojo Rabbit

Image credit: Amazon

We know that film as an artform is a difficult trade. As art imitates life, there are a number of rules and taboos that it must adhere to. Simultaneously art is about pushing the boundaries and making us face the unfacable. A film that does both of these things is a rare and wondrous thing. One such film, recently made and gaining an Academy Award nomination for its tremendous efforts is Taika Waititi’s latest triumph: Jojo Rabbit.

The film tells the story of ten year-old German boy Jojo whose dream is to heroically serve the fatherland in times of war with his imaginary friend Hitler by his side. However, Jojo’s fanatical beliefs and patriotism take a battering when he discovers that his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their house. Conflicted between love, curiosity, and the need to prove his worth, Jojo navigates his way through the war, one mishap at a time, learning valuable lessons about humanity along the way.

Who would have thought that a dramatic comedy set during in WW2 Germany could be such a charming and heart-warming thing? Taika uses everything at his disposal including his impeccable sense of timing, quirky casting choices, and confrontational historical themes to create something truly glorious and significant. 

At its heart Jojo Rabbit is a story about innocence, however misguided, and its strength. The harsh historical setting makes this message and the celebration of childlike innocence even stronger (like salt) and Taika’s witty and biting script just brings everything together, making something that appears iffy into something heart-warming and hysterical. 

A special shout-out must go to our leading man: Rowan Griffin Davis. He’s a pint-sized powerhouse of emotion and scene-stealing genius, going through a rollercoaster of feels as well as hilarious freak-outs and even some villainous moments. Seriously, words cannot describe how amazing this kids is. Watch the film!

Image credit: Daily Express

While the film’s quirky comedy, primarily stemming from quick-witted dialogue, is entirely unique, there’s another level of oddness that makes Jojo Rabbit stand out. The use of mise en scene is crisp and confronting, a little like Wes Anderson’s style, and it’s this that makes the movie a visual standout as well as a verbal one. This, plus it has a very interesting soundtrack!

I would absolutely recommend that everyone make watching this movie their next priority. Its brilliance is just so unexpected I can’t even write about it properly! 

Director: Taika Waititi, 2019
Cast: Rowan Griffin Davis, Scarlet Johannson, Sam Rockwell, Taika Waititi, Rebel Wilson, Alfie Allen, Stephen Merchant, Archie Yates & Thomasin McKenzie

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