The news today sucks. Everything is sad and depressing, nobody can get along, and people fight each other for nothing more than skin color, gender, and religion. In this time where nonsensical hatred is everywhere, a little film called JoJo Rabbit comes along to combat all of it.
The latest Taika Waititi film (Thor: Ragnarok, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) is the perfect blend of humor and heart that isn’t just one of the best films of the year, but also one of the most important of this decade.
A Roller Coaster Ride of Emotion
JoJo Rabbit follows a young Nazi soldier who discovers that his mother is hiding a young Jewish girl in their house. Oh, and did I mention that his imaginary friend is Adolf Hitler?!
As a satirical comedy, this film is outstanding.
Not only does it have some of the best laughs of the year, but it constantly delivers them in hilarious and clever ways, imaginary Hitler being one example of many. The art of this film is regardless how funny it may be, the script never detracts from the heart of the story.
With subject matter as dark as World War II and the Holocaust, it can’t all be cute, and JoJo Rabbit balances the two perfectly. It squeezes as much emotion out of the dramatic moments as it possibly can and tells a story that truly touches the heart. These moments make the relief of humor all the more important, while endearing us further to the characters.
The film is a roller coaster ride of emotion, but by the end of the film, you’ll be smiling from ear-to-ear.
A Message For the Ages
JoJo Rabbit is one of the most important films to come out this decade.
The quality of the film aside, the moral of the story is indisputably fantastic. The classic love defeating hate message is once again made relevant to our current times, even with the World War II backdrop. This is all due to the superb character work, as it dives into the psyche of a person growing up in such a hate-filled environment as they discover the humanity in the ones they were taught to hate.
The film’s primary goal is to spark hope and love in the world. The wacky tone combined with the excellent writing, humor and character development make this message even more accessible to people than ever.
What the film is trying to say is not only important, but relevant to every single person in the audience. It’s so much more than a little kid making Nazi jokes for two hours.
This is a film that everybody needs to see, but will sadly be overlooked by other releases. Hopefully it will be supported by more people as its release gets expanded to more theaters.
The Comedy of the Year
This year hasn’t been the kindest to comedies.
While it’s given us a few gems like Shazam! and Long shot, it’s also spat out Stuber as well as Zombieland: Double Tap which wasn’t anything special. However, JoJo Rabbit blows all of those out of the water as it delivers consistent belly-laughs from humor that isn’t like anything else coming out this year.
This film is, first and foremost, a comedy. While it doesn’t skimp out on the heart and emotion of the story (like every comedy should) there is always a focus on making the audience laugh. The sheer uniqueness of Waititi’s humor makes it all the more enjoyable to watch. Not many films can live up to Hitler giving life advice to a young boy.
It’s not even the quality of the jokes that makes this such a great comedy. They are all woven into the narrative and delivered at the perfect times. The jokes feel like as a natural part of the characters and the world as a whole. It creates a setting and tone that is unapologetically Waititi, which is something to be celebrated.
Overall, JoJo Rabbit is a unique and important film that I believe everybody should see.
The message is relevant, the humor is spot on, and it’ll leave you feeling happy and hopeful by the end. Keep an eye out for this one as it expands its release this week. It is definitely worth a watch.
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