A comedy where Jojo, a Nazi obsessed ten year old German boy (Roman Griffin Davis) and his invisible best friend Hitler (Taika Waititi) have to deal with the prospect of losing the war, a Jewish girl hiding in the attic, his mother's secret resistance work and the normal problems of growing up, doesn't sounds very likely but Waititi, who wrote and directed this odd little piece has crafted not only a very funny satire of every Nazi film ever filmed but has produced a gentle and an incredibly warm piece on growing up and the loss of innocence .
I am glad it was a comedy , for if filmed as a straight drama it would have lost buckets of charm as well as gaining an overload of trauma and misery.
The movie, at times is laugh-out-loud funny,
However when the reality of true horror of the story needs to be shown then Waititi shows them with such subtle power that those scenes literally rip your heart out
Johansson, a lovely turn
It took at least ten minutes for me to settle down after the quite amusing Hitler character charms himself into the action ( boy did this feel wrong) but after this the wonderful acting and sensitivity by Davis in the lead role and the performances from Scarlett Johansson and Thomasin McKensie ( as
Jojo's mother and the girl in the attic respectively) all drag you in to a story which is all about how a child sees his world .
I must also say something about the child actor Archie Yates who pops up as Jojo's overweight but relentless cheerful and pragmatic best friend. He almost steals the show. His final scene where he and Jojo experience the front line against the advancing Russsian forces is incredibly poignant especially as his character puts down his machine gun and admits that all he wants to do is to go home to cuddle him mother.
The delightful Archie Yates
Jojo Rabbit, like every satire of horrendous real events, has a great deal to say
But it also works as a simple story of a little boy growing up
And on both levels it succeeds in bucketloads .