Jojo Rabbit (2019) – A Daring Fun Satire of Historical Event

★★★★

There is something unique yet curious about Taika Waititi’s work besides “Jojo Rabbit”, his latest film. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, 2019. With this anti-hate satire and political parody about “playing with” history and Adolf Hitler, it’s just astonishing to say films like this still exist. In addition to being famous for his impressive job in Marvel, everything he poured out in this film. It’s a coming-of-age comedy about Nazis, involved a young boy whose imaginary friend named Adolf Hitler. It’s quite hilarious and certainly somewhat controversial for everyone.

The originality of “Jojo Rabbit” isn’t only in how history is comically played by Taika Waititi, who also played as Adolf Hitler. This movie is not playing with the phenomenal figure, trying to mocking the Holocaust, or the event. But, it punches you in the face what if an event plays safely, how all of the current timelines turn to a different route. It’s not a controversial film about a kid with his doctrine and Hitler’s incessant soul to hunt down and search for Jews.

A young Nazi boy named Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) is a so-called cowardly kid. But, he has a young soul in wanting to jump into the battlefield. He didn’t just think about what if he sent a Jew directly to the authorities. However, he only has a mission if he wants to be like an idol, and imagination friend, Adolf Hitler. Therefore, other kids always suppress it because of their hesitation in killing other creatures.

Jojo’s mother, Rosie (Scarlett Johansson), is compassionate. Besides being anti-war, she considers war only harms two sides. It doesn’t provide an advantage. However, what Jojo got was a Jew, who his mother hidden her, residing behind in their attic. If they were to find Jew at their house, Jojo and his mother would be hanged. If only he reported it, Jojo would be killed by the Jew, Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie). It begins an adventure between mutual acceptance, mutual understanding, and mutual pity for one another.

A lot of people always refer to this movie as Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” but it’s Nazi. It’s also an exception when you expect a comedy film with no value. But, it ends up being one of the most memorable films in 2019. In war, everyone dies but neither does. It’s dead in physical as well as psychological terms. However, this isn’t an explosive war film and also not an anti-war film with many horror elements. Neither of them. The story explores the innocent gaze of our protagonist. It’s an exploration of the protagonist’s life as a young Nazi and his experience in understanding someone. Simply, it’s a coming-of-age movie.

Every time the movie throws “Heil Hitlers”, you take a shot. Taika Waititi, as a director and writer, clearly plays one of the deadliest characters we have ever known. But, what if all of it’s inversely proportional like turning a table without having to change the point? In essence, Waititi plays Hitler as one of the most idiotic, most moron, and most scoundrel characters in this film. Indeed, “Jojo Rabbit” was originally a memorable comedy in the first act. But, imagine when the atmosphere of the film suddenly changes.

“Jojo Rabbit” is very impressed cynic and innocent when looking from the perspective of the main character, Jojo; especially, Jojo sees Jews as bad monsters from their physical to their face. He started talking to the Jew in his attic. He learned a lot about her experiences, why she could come in the first place, her past, and so on. Jojo began to think the truth didn’t always impress the truth. There is a lies in the middle of the relationship, when the monster and the real monster meet. But, they aren’t monsters. The monster also made Jojo’s imaginary friend try to persuade him to have to report to the authorities. He tries to execute the Jew. It’s a parallel feeling between feeling sorry, feeling sad, feeling warm, or feeling sad. It’s melancholic.

“Jojo Rabbit” is fun, entertaining, a little bit horror, explosion for a few, and emotional. We sit back and smile about how this movie runs from beginning to end. As an individual piece by Taika Waititi, I hope he wants to make a film like this; it’s become one of the original and fresh films in 2019. The child actor is phenomenal especially Roman Griffin Davis. Above all, I hope Hollywood doesn’t have to limit films like this. It’s brilliant in anyways and it’s fun for a lot of people.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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