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Cakes Takes Jojo Rabbit Movie Review

Updated on June 28, 2020
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Caila went to Meremac-STL for journalism and has been writing for most of her life.

Jojo Rabbit movie

The promotional and theatrical release poster for the film.
The promotional and theatrical release poster for the film. | Source

Jojo Rabbit Movie Review

So I watched this imaginative jewel last night and I thought I just liked Taika Waititi’s work in the MCU, but it turns out that he is just one talented, creative and fun mf! This dark comedy drama is based on a novel called Caging Skies, which is far more serious than this fanciful fairytale-esque version of the story. Taika stomps on such a touchy subject with the grace of an elephant but I loved every second of his what could be perceived as an ignorant movie. However, when you really think about it and start looking at the facts of the real life people and events, you can tell that Taika really did his homework as the director of this film and put his vision together nicely.

The film is set in Nazi Germany at the end of World War II and the Holocaust, so what helps some of the comedy to work in such a dark subject matter is that the story is told through the eyes and the mind of the a naive nine year old child named Jojo. He is a fanatic of Adolf Hitler, (with Waititi doubling down his workload in this film as the aforementioned Hitler), his ideologies and the Nazis. Jojo eventually learns that his sweet, single mother, played amazingly and sympathetically by Scarlett Johansson, is harboring a young Jewish girl a little bit older than himself in a secret room in the attic. From there, Taika effortlessly balances the heavy topics of war with a lighthearted coming of age story. Waititi’s portrayal as Hitler, who is basically Jojo’s imaginary friend, is a clear indication as to what we’re seeing the Nazis like in the eyes of a child. Jojo literally knows NOTHING about his idol and only idolizes him because it’s what is popular right now and makes him feel strong. He hungers for a sense of fitting in at the Hitler Youth Camp, among the bigger and older boys also in the camp. In one scene at a dinner table, you can see the family sitting down to dinner and eating a turkey, I believe. When Jojo addresses Adolf he is eating a huge piece of turkey, showing that the young boy does not know anything about him, as Hitler had already randomly converted over to a vegetarian diet years before that. Jojo also imagines him as a more whimsical childlike version of the man. So this is ALL just what HE thinks in his head about something, again, he does not really know about.

Some of my favorite moments in this film is with the love and care (to relate to her son) that Scarlett’s character shows with Jojo. Those were the tear jerking, touching, heartwarming moments that I couldn't get enough of. It seemed like they were really mother and child and like they had a really great relationship with one another. Scarlett’s character was very much a heavy part of why I liked the film. In another review, I mentioned how I was excited to see what another member of the OG Marvel Cinematic Universe did after they left their iconic role behind, and this was honestly no different with this film. A part of the reason I was excited to see this film was because it was one of her first roles after taking her leave of the MCU and her distinctive role of the Black Widow. This along with Marriage Story piqued my interest with her because they were both serious roles, which I figured she would do as an actress next anyway. I can absolutely see why Scarlett was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for this role this year. She has proven herself to be taken seriously outside of a universe of films she’s well known for. (I haven’t seen Marriage Story next, but I’m sure she deserved her nomination for Best Actress for that role as well.)

The message that this film takes on is such a heavy one, but they do it in such a way that it is so meaningful that even a child could understand. That is something that I admire about it. Patience, social tolerance, and understanding are two big themes here that stand out along with love and friendship. It also shows you that life is NOT always fair… to anybody… but that’s what makes it fair, we just have to dance and smile through the unfair parts of life. These are deep subjects to tackle in a film and Taika did a beautiful job! This movie also turned out to be far more funny than I thought it would be. With comedies, I’m usually very cynical in what I watch because some movies are just different (less funny) versions of movies and jokes I’ve already laughed at before at some point. With this movie though, I actually LOL’d watching this movie, like holding my stomach and having to pause the movie because it was so funny and I didn't want to miss anything else! And the parts that were hysterical fit in with the serious nature of the film, again, because it was told through the eyes of a child! You can’t help but feel for the title character Jojo as a person as he finds his way through the world and life in just a little while’s time. His entire life and way of thinking gets turned upside down, around and back again in just a small time span.

I did not mind the content of the movie making a slight joke and satire of the Holocaust, mixed in with the everlooming presence of the ongoing war still in the background of everything that is happening to Jojo. Overall, it made for a serious story with a lot of funny moments in it than anything else. Taika Waititi deserves praise for his unconventional and queer, yet oddly realistic view into a child’s mind during this historic war. This is one of the funnier movies I’ve seen in a while and an actual MUST WATCH!!! Definitely give it a watch whenever you can! This movie deserved every accolade that it was nominated for and won this past year!

Actors and Production Team

Actors/Actresses
Production Team
Companies
Scarlett Johansson
Taika Waititi (director, actor and producer)
FOX Searchlight Pictures (distribution and production company)
Roman Griffin Davis
Christine Leunens (writer of Caging Skies, the book the film is based on)
TSG Entertainment (production company)
Taika Waititi
Carthew Neal (producer)
Piki Films (production comany)
Rebel Wilson
Chelsea Winstanley (producer)
Defender Films (production company)
Alfie Allen
Michael Giacchino (music)
 
Stephen Merchant
Mihai Mălaimare Jr. (cinematographer)
 
Sam Rockwell
Tom Eagles (editor)
 
Archie Yates
 
 

A list of the actors and actresses and the production teams that pulled through to create Jojo Rabbit.

SPOILER SECTION!!!!! SPOILER!!! SPOILER!!! SPOILER!!!

The part of the movie that shocked the hell out of me and literally made my sides hurt from laughing so much was the part where Jojo scars himself with the bomb. The way his confidence was on 10 before he tried to throw it away but then when it hit the tree and came back at him and everything was in slow motion, I couldn't take it. THAT was the funniest moment in that whole movie.

The part where Scarlett teaches him to wink was hysterical and so down to earth as well. It really made me love her character and want nothing but the best for their family because of how close they were! They were both so cute together. And her character being secretly anti-Nazi while still supportive of her son tugged at my heartstrings because of the fact that I never had a support system with much that I wanted to do. So to see a single mother truly take an interest in her son and the things that he wants to do, while still trying to teach him correctly is really a beautiful thing to see in the film to me. It really saddened me that her character died so randomly in the movie at the end.

Jojo Rabbit Movie Poll VOTE NOW!!!

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This movie is GOLD!!!

5 stars for Jojo Rabbit Movie

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