Jojo Rabbit

Saw Taika Waititi's new film, Jojo Rabbit, yesterday. I enjoyed it but I'm not completely sure what to make of it. I'll need to see it again some time.

What is clear is that the film is often laugh out loud funny in a slapstick sort of way. It's also creative and quirky in a visual sense, and the quirkiness and humor often work hand in hand.

If you don't know already, the story is about a young German boy towards the end of the Nazi era. Very late in the Nazi era as a matter of fact. Like any good German boy of that time and place he's a patriotic, little Nazi looking for a way to serve the Reich and the Fuhrer. In fact, Hitler is his imaginary friend who tells him that he's okay and that he should buck up and keep trying despite adversity.

The sheer notion of Hitler as a little boy's imaginary friend should tell you about the quirkiness and humor of the movie. But the thing is, Waititi is after bigger game than mere entertainment.

Mel Brooks had bigger game in mind with The Producers but Mel's strategy only needed to make the Nazis look ridiculous. Waititi isn't relying on humor alone and I'm not sure that the Nazis per se are his ultimate target. There's definitely some drama in this movie, even tragedy, and it's a testament to Waititi's skills that he can combine and balance all of this in one movie.

Which makes it a sufficiently complicated movie that I need to see it again before I reach any final judgements. But you should definitely see it at least once.


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