(London Film Festival)
Taika Waititi wrote, directed and starred in this wonderful comedy-drama that features Jojo "Rabbit" Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis) as he ardently wishes to join the German troops in War War II. His fanaticism is feeding the company of his imaginary friend, Adolf (Taika Waititi) and is being fought by his mother Rosie (Scarlett Johansson), who tries to shake off his love for war. Jojo soon discovers that Rosie is hiding a Jewish girl, Elsa Korr (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic, and his ideology starts to weaken.
Funny while also heavy, the film is a social commentary on war, fanatism and racism built in a setting reminiscent of Wes Anderson's work. The acting is brilliant, although certain characters such as Sam Rockwell's Captain K are not exploited fully. What lifts the film is framing war from the perspective of child soldiers who are indoctrinated to fight for their country and behave anything but like the 10 year-olds that they are, which, when stripping the film from its funny facade, is harrowing.
With what can be perceived as a light touch on nazism, 'Jojo Rabbit' might polarise audiences. While it might be seen as offensive, there was a feeling of the film playing it safe and being afraid of offending "too much", falling short of delivering. Having said that, it was thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining.