To start with Jojo Rabbit, we should look at Taika Waititi’s previous films Boy and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, both of which operate in a similar fashion to his latest work.
And despite so many forces working against it, Jojo Rabbit does actually work as an entertaining, crowd-pleasing comedy.
Calling it an achievement would be a stretch given the divisiveness of the story alone, along with its simplistic morals and kid-movie optimism sometimes veering into schmaltz, but it’s a funny film with a deranged sense of humor, willing to get pitch black when it needs to, and perfectly in line with Waititi’s previous work.
Jojo is a member of the Hitler Youth, soaking up all the anti-Semitism and hatred taught to him to the point where his imaginary friend is Hitler (played by Waititi).
Others point to its pandering, like its marketing campaign describing the film as “an anti-hate satire” and Waititi claiming it as “the film we need right now.”
Maybe the biggest deciding factor for one’s enjoyment of Jojo Rabbit will be the comedy, since Waititi’s dry sensibility isn’t for everyone.
Jojo Rabbit premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and will be released on October 18.