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Probing... JoJo Rabbit (2019)

Taika Waititi’s anti-hate satire movie JoJo Rabbit (2019) is filled with whimsical writing which adds a layer of comedy to a story I never would have branded with the potential for humour. Most viewers would agree that Nazis are not funny but to go against all of my moral codes, Waititi’s comic voice is too lovable not to enjoy, regardless of the content matter.

Waititi’s eccentric attention to detail makes you look at something and feel something you wouldn’t usually. In this case he makes us empathise for a young boy who dreams of fighting for the Nazis. We are encouraged to analyse his character and judge whether we trust him and want him to change his views. After our first encounter with young JoJo we cannot help but love him and want him to do better.

The tonal balance of comedy and tragedy is effortless, there is a perfect equilibrium between the two opposing genres. We laugh as young JoJo Betzler is told by his imaginary friend Adolf Hitler to ‘Heil me, man’. The two psych each other up by shouting ‘Heil Hitler’ over and over, the realisation of their words finally resonates once they stop. The blasé yet clever use of words, we as a community have been told not to say, is somewhat shocking to hear. Once you take the words out of the context of young JoJo saying them it isn’t all that innocent. The movie would have been nowhere near as well received or accepted if JoJo was not 10 years old but that is the beauty of this movie. Not many creatives would have the confidence in their writing, like Waititi did, to create this outlandish narrative in such a hostile, intimidating period of history. In my opinion this movie is simply genius, it is insightful, refreshing, heart wrenching but most of all unique, which to me is the best quality to a movie. I love every second of satire within this film, the stylist approach to filmmaking and writing mixes genres and styles which would never have been thought to compliment each other but most of all this movies success is down to the characters.

Really this is a story about Elsa and JoJo, not Nazis. I would never describe this movie as historically accurate or distinctly a war movie, this movie is about friendship, honour, family, love and growth. As this movie unfolds we watch JoJo grow up, he becomes a newly formed character by the end of the movie and his character arc is beautiful to witness.

Overall, JoJo Rabbit is a sensational movie from beginning to end. Each moment brings a new layer to each character and their surroundings, we almost forget this movie is set during the second world war because the characters are so enticing. Not to mention the beautiful cinematography and use of colour which feels like watching history books come alive. A coming of age movie I will cherish for a very long time.


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Welcome to Film Probe, a platform where I have dedicated my time and energies to reviewing films, tv and more. I pride myself on offering more than just an opinion, but rather a carefully crafted insight into the film's themes, characters, and overall production.

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