Jojo Rabbit: A Satirical Take on Nazi Germany
Jojo Rabbit is a 2019 comedy-drama film written and directed by Taika Waititi, based on the novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens. The film stars Roman Griffin Davis as Jojo, a 10-year-old boy who is a fanatical member of the Hitler Youth in the final days of World War II. His world is turned upside down when he discovers that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. He also has an imaginary friend who is none other than Adolf Hitler (played by Waititi himself), who gives him advice and encouragement.
The film is a satire that mocks the absurdity and cruelty of Nazism, while also showing the humanity and courage of those who resist it. It explores themes such as identity, friendship, love, loss, and redemption. It also balances humor and drama, using both to create an emotional impact on the audience.
Jojo Rabbit received critical acclaim and won several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. It was also praised for its performances, especially by Davis, Johansson, and Waititi. The film was also controversial for some viewers who found its comedic portrayal of Hitler and Nazism offensive or inappropriate.
Jojo Rabbit is a unique and original film that challenges the audience to laugh at the horrors of history, while also empathizing with its victims and heroes. It is a film that celebrates life and hope in the face of darkness and hate.
Jojo Rabbit had its world premiere at the 44th Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2019, where it won the Grolsch People’s Choice Award. It was later released theatrically in the United States on October 18 and in New Zealand on October 24. It was chosen by the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute as one of the ten best films of the year.
The film received mostly positive reviews from critics, who praised its originality, humor, heart, and performances. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 80% based on 425 reviews, with an average rating of 7.4/10. The website’s critics consensus reads: \”Jojo Rabbit’s blend of irreverent humor and serious ideas definitely won’t be to everyone’s taste — but either way, this anti-hate satire is audacious to a fault.\” On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 58 out of 100, based on 57 critics, indicating \”mixed or average reviews\”.
Some critics, however, were more negative or divided about the film’s tone and approach to its subject matter. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film one star out of five and called it \”intensely unfunny\” and \”a massively misjudging embarrassment\”. David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a grade of C+ and wrote: \”Waititi is too soft a satirist to reckon with his own premise; he can mock Nazi Germany until heâs blue in the face (or until his characters are), but he canât bring himself to contend with it.\”
Waititi defended his film against the criticism, saying: \”I think it’s definitely going to offend some people. But what I’ve learned over the years is that you’re going to offend someone no matter what you do. So you might as well just do whatever you want.\” He also said that he wanted to make a film that would challenge people and make them uncomfortable, but also make them laugh and feel hopeful. He added: \”You don’t want to be directing kids with a swastika on your arm. You’ve got to have some humour in your life.\”