We’re a couple of days into 2020, it’s still pretty dark outside, and I’m not entirely sure what day it is.
Is it Thursday? Is Christmas truly over yet?
Like many people I’m still experiencing that Crimbo limbo feeling at the moment. Normal service hasn’t resumed just yet, and I’m not entirely sure if I should be dieting (like most people do post-Christmas) or eating all of the cheese that we still have in the fridge – a by-product of the festive season.
Either way, my husband is still off work, I’m still ‘between projects’, and did I mention, there’s still uncertainty over the cheese?!
To counteract all of this confusion, earlier this evening we took ourselves off to the cinema to watch JoJo Rabbit – a comedy about Nazis. The film has just opened in the UK and a trip to the cinema offers my husband some fresh air, and me the opportunity to remove my face from the fridge.
Or, it at least delays my face from entering the fridge for a couple of hours.
So, JoJo Rabbit…
Directed by Taika Waititi (he of Thor: Ragnarok and What We Do in the Shadows fame), JoJo Rabbit is a comedic, yet heartfelt tale about a ten-year-old boy, growing up in Nazi Germany. JoJo is under the belief that the Nazi way is the right way, and thanks to his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler, he’s becoming increasingly confused about the world around him.
Now if you’ve scrolled down to this part of my post without clicking on the trailer above, please go back and press play. Once you have watched the trailer for JoJo Rabbit you can come back and carry on reading this post.
I don’t mind waiting.
Go on, press play.
So, having now seen the trailer you get the feel for this film, right? You have also seen the awesome cast which includes Scarlet Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Stephen Merchant, Rebel Wilson, and Taika Waititi (as Hitler).
Well let me tell you, everyone in this film is wonderful. Everyone.
Merchant, Rockwell and Wilson bring hilarity and absurdity to their roles (in an incredibly believable way), while Waititi is hilarious as Hitler – or rather, a ten-year-old’s interpretation of Hitler. Waititi walks a fine line with the character and ensures the audience understands the absurdity behind Hitler and his beliefs.
But all of the actors in the film are blown away by the youngest members of the cast, Roman Griffin Davis, who plays JoJo, and Archie Yates as JoJo’s best friend, Yorki. These two actors are incredible and manage to carry so many great scenes – especially Davis, who also has to contend with Taika Waititi’s fabulous (and presumably rather distracting) performance as Hitler.
Davis is a superb new talent, and certainly one to keep an eye on. The young actor is currently up for a number of awards, including a Golden Globe and he deserves to win this and every other accolade that he’s in the running for.
Not only does Davis make his character feel so real, he also takes the audience on a journey. He demonstrates how easy it is to be caught up in a vacuum of your own thoughts.
In an age where many people are shouting into an echo chamber, especially regarding political situations and/or elections (via social media), JoJo’s situation seems worryingly real. OK, so most people don’t have Hitler as their imaginary friend, but they do have their own opinions, or the opinions of others, guiding their arguments and beliefs.
And that’s the key to this film – while JoJo Rabbit is a movie about World War II and Nazism, it’s also a tale about the futility of conflict in all its forms. It asks the question to those with extremist views, what do you truly wish to achieve?
Two days into 2020 and JoJo Rabbit has delivered the most relevant film of the last few years. It’s hilarious, touching, and something which is highly recommended – especially in our current climate.
If you’re still doing the Crimbo limbo, you’re trying to avoid your fridge (and its cheese content), or you simply have time available this weekend, go and see JoJo Rabbit. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll see a deeper meaning to an imaginary dictator.