Posted on January 9, 2020
If I am
honest, I am not a very good film critic. I find myself struggling how to
explain what I have seen. This is because we live in a world of awesome and
woeful, with nothing in between allowed. Saying something was ‘pretty good’
means it was shit.
Anyway I will try. Last night, we went to Vue, Basingstoke, to watch ‘JoJo Rabbit’. I didn’t really know what to expect, I just wanted to get out of the house. The dismal month of January has few plus points.
I hope I can describe ‘JoJo Rabbit’ without ruining it.
The film is based around 10-year-old Jojo Betzler (Roman Griffiths Davies) who has been brainwashed by Nazi propaganda and is relishing joining the Hitler Youth. With him is his childhood imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi). His mother (the excellent Scarlett Johansson) unbeknown to him is working with the resistance and helping Jews escape.
Here’s the clever bit. It’s a comedy and a bloody good one in my opinion. The tutors at the Hitler Youth Camp are brilliant, trying to keep the show on the road despite imminent defeat for Germany. So are the character of his imaginary friend Adolf Hitler and the SS members that visit his home (including Stephen Merchant, who makes a great comedy Nazi).
Despite the genuine hilarity, the film develops some dark, tragic but still comedic, twists. These came after Jojo discovers a Jew, Elsa Korr, who has been hidden in the attic by his mother. This had me switching emotions in a unique way, as comedy and tragedy was constantly flicking back and forth.
JoJo Rabbit was a totally different film to what I imagined. I am genuinely impressed that someone had the imagination to take such a complex and disturbing subject and make a comedy out of it. Of course, comedy is only funny if you find it funny, and a basic knowledge of WWII would be helpful in this instance.
Otherwise, it was bloody awes…sorry, I mean, very good.