Jojo Rabbit


The movie poster for Jojo Rabbit, featuring the titular character Jojo (played by Roman Griffin Davis) at the front, alongside various members of the supporting cast, including his mother (Scarlett Johansson), Adolph Hitler (Taika Waititi), and Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie). Photo courtesy of IMbd.

Jojo Rabbit is a comedy/drama movie that takes place during the final days of World War Two. Roman Griffin Davis picks up the role of Jojo Betzler, a ten-year-old boy and a proud member of Hitler Youth. Throughout the movie, Jojo is accompanied by his imaginary friend Adolf Hitler, who is played by the director of the movie, Taika Waititi. Early on in the movie, Jojo discovers that his mother has been sheltering a young Jewish girl named Elsa in their home. This discovery and other experiences during the movie force Jojo to reflect on his antisemitism. 

Jojo Rabbit pulled in a 79 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a 96 percent audience score.  It’s understandable that not everyone would like this emotional and humorous “anti-hate satire” on such a harsh, sensitive subject. After watching the preview for Jojo Rabbit, I was skeptical, to say the least. To be honest, I was expecting to sit through 108 minutes of painfully butchered comedy and inappropriate remarks made by a rather childish Hitler. After the movie though, I was pleasantly surprised and I think you would be too.

The movie opens to Jojo giving himself a pep talk in the mirror with imaginary Hitler throwing in a few supportive words – it’s his first day of Nazi boot camp! At boot camp, Jojo is mocked because he is unable to kill a rabbit, hence the nickname. In order to prove himself, a true “man” Jojo rushes up and launches a grenade, which sadly, lands right next to him. This event leaves Jojo injured and his face disfigured. In turn, Jojo gets moved from the kids Nazi boot camp to poster duty. Jojo goes through bullying because of his disfigurement and status downgrade. Honestly, it’s hard to not feel bad for the kid despite his beliefs. As the war goes on Jojo is able to open his eyes a little more to the truth about what’s really going on around him. Throughout the movie, Jojo learns to stray away from the hate he is pushed to comply with and follow the “love for everyone” rhetoric his mother shows him. Slowly but surely, Jojo and Elsa’s friendship begins to grow as the end of WWII comes near. They dance, they laugh, they cry, and I’m sure you will do the same. 

Waititi manages to take a very dark part of history and make it understandable and digestible to a variety of people. This film shows the true meaning of love, faith, and friendship. Jojo Rabbit is probably one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while. So my advice to you, give it a chance and you’ll probably come out of the theater liking it.