#TIFF19: “JOJO RABBIT”
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) is an impressionable young boy who is part of the Hitler Youth. He is a bit shy, and tends to talk most to his imaginary best friend, Adolf (Taika Waititi). He supports all of the Führer’s ideas and despises the Jews. But his beliefs are put to the test when he discovers that a young Jewish girl named Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie) is hiding in the attic of his home.
Wow. That was my immediate reaction after watching Jojo Rabbit. Waititi’s anti-war satire is an incredible, unforgettable experience and easily one of the best things I have watched so far at #TIFF19. Full stop.
It is outrageously-hilarious and deeply-tragic, often in the exact same scene. Waititi walks a fine line here, effectively balancing the light hearted, satirical elements with the horrors of war, never once shying away from the human cost of this horrible period in history. And no, he is not sympathetic towards any of the Nazis. The period detail is exquisite, and his reinterpretation of recognizable pop songs is unique to say the least. The stacked cast of talent is amazing in their roles, each carving out their own memorable moments. And while Waititi is terrific portraying Hitler in the most asinine and ridiculous way possible, it is first-time actor Davis who steals the show and your heart.
JOJO RABBIT screens during TIFF at the following times:
Sunday September 8, 9:30pm @ Princess of Wales [World Premiere]
Monday September 9, 10:00am @ Elgin Theatre
Friday September 13, 9:30pm @ Winter Garden Theatre
Sunday September 15, 12:00pm @ Ryerson Theatre