Jojo Rabbit (12A)

Can the highly anticipated Jojo Rabbit deliver the laughs we all need right now? There’s only one way to find out.

I’ve been a fan of Taika Waititi since I watched What We Do In The Shadows with my friend Harry. When he then went on to direct and star in Thor: Ragnorak I couldn’t believe my luck. 

Then I started hearing talk of a black comedy about Adolf Hilter that he was working on and started to count down the days until its release. I was more excited about Jojo Rabbit’s release than seeing in the New Year. I sat in anticipation in the movie theatre waiting to see whether to see whether my excitement had been warranted. What followed was a side-splitting riot with depth. 

Jojo Rabbit will undoubtedly be your guilty pleasure of 2020. It’s awkward, and you know you shouldn’t laugh, but dammit you just can’t help it. A man sat next to me truly couldn’t control his fits of laughter. Could it be that because the world news is so bleak right now people are warming to it more as light relief? Or is it just really bloody funny? To be honest I think it’s a bit of both. We  all need a bit of escapism right now. 

Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis)  is a lonely German boy whose imaginary best friend is Adolf Hilter (Taika Waititi). Ever-dedicated to the cause Jojo is horrified to discover that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) has been hiding a Jewish girl named Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie) in their home.

The blind nationalist tries to overcome the girl to no avail. If she won’t leave then he will learn more about his Furher’s enemy. What follows is an unlikely friendship that threatens to get them all killed. Will this most loyal member of Hilter’s Army defect all in the name of love, risking his families lives?

I’m not going to lie and say the subject matter isn’t harrowing. It is. But it’s dealt with in a way that is obviously satire. Breaking serious tension is Waititi’s forte after all. His performance as Hilter, Sam Rockwell as Captain Klenzendorf and Archie Yates as Yorki provide some of the biggest laughs throughout the movie.  

By Ruth Walker

★★★★★

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