Movie Review: Jojo Rabbit

The movie Jojo Rabbit is an interesting take on the life of a young Nazi boy living in Germany during World War II. Jojo Rabbit is a lonely young boy, who discovers a Jewish girl hiding in his attic. Throughout the movie he is constantly having to face the reality of nationalism and how blind he is to it.  Judging by the look of the movie poster and the description of the movie, it is reasonable to assume that it glorifies the Nazi regime. However, it is the complete opposite. The movie portrays the leaders of Germany as ridiculous and instead makes the audience sympathize with the innocent people who are endangered. As Jojo comes to realize the gritty reality about the war, it becomes clear that the message is to accept everyone, even if you don’t understand them. 

The topic of this movie (being centered around Nazis) could easily make for a heavy and dense storyline. However, it is a humorous story as told through the imagination of a young boy. And while it is mostly light-hearted, it doesn’t stray too far from the dark reality of what the Nazis really stand for, and at times it does become surprisingly more serious. These scenes show that the movie is not meant to make light of war or to present it as unimportant but rather they attempt to develop and show characters as multidimensional.

Through the eyes of history, we tend to see the villains and heroes of war as one-dimensional individuals– they are either good or bad. And this film shows perhaps a side of characters  that we have not often seen or perhaps even explored through history or films about the Nazis. The movie manages to humanize Nazis while at the same time not making them appear as endearing to the audience.

This movie is a comedy-drama, sometimes referred to as a “dramedy”. It by no means is a feel-good movie. It leaves you feeling like you’ve been punched in the gut with a bittersweet ending that is bound to linger in you for some time. I recommend this movie if you are interested in seeing a story about war from a different perspective. It is bound to spark a spirited discussion on how well it presented such a controversial topic in a new and inspiring way.