Jojo Rabbit (2019) is a historic comedy fiction about a young boy living in Germany during World War II. He is torn between his loyalty to the führer and saving the life of a young Jewish girl who is secretly living in their house.
The 10-year-old Johannes Betzler aka Jojo is fascinated by Adolf Hitler, and, imagines the führer to be his friend. During a weekend training at the Hitler Youth camp, Jojo gets hurt badly when a hand grenade blows near him, disqualifying him from joining the Nazi armed forces, instead, he is assigned civilian propaganda jobs in the city. While his mother Rosie (played by Scarlett Johansson) is not fond of the war, Jojo was shocked to find that she is harbouring a young girl in their own house. Unable to disclose this to anyone for fear of being reprimanded, and, being lonely due to the war outside, Jojo is compelled to interact with the girl. What starts with fear and curiosity, his interactions with the girl grows friendlier. Jojo quickly realises Jews are human too, they are not the ‘devil’. Using a young boy and girl as the main characters was a creative way employed by Director Taika Waititi to spread compassion amongst the audience who are otherwise surrounded by a world that is constantly agitated.
Though the film happens during WWII, the director has brilliantly kept the comedy flowing throughout, this makes it entertaining and not depressing to watch. Though our heart races when the terrifying Gestapo comes to their home looking for fugitives, we never seem to be losing hope for Elsa, the young Jew. When she is trying to pacify and calm her frightened son, Scarlett Johansson as Rosie scores. Acting as Jojo, Roman Griffin Davis was fantastic. The other two characters that impress us were Archie Yates as Yorki, Jojo’s best friend and Sam Rockwell as Captain Klenzendorf.
Though it had tragic events happening, I liked the ending which left us with compassion, hope and thankful for living in a better world.
Like the Downfall (2004) which covered the last few weeks of Hitler, Jojo Rabbit is about the happenings in the last few months of WWII, evident to everyone on how the war is going.