Film review: “Jojo Rabbit” (2019) ★★★★★

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What is the price of hatred? Why can’t we exist in peace and live providing solidarity to each other? Why we let others decide who should we love and who to despise? Isn’t it true that the heart needs no order or instruction to do whatever it wants to feel? With all the madness occurring in the world, we need to see something refreshing, something that can help us distinguish the difference between bad and good. The times are harsh nowadays, and based on the concept of “Jojo Rabbit” by writer/director Taika Waititi, it’s not getting any better.

“Jojo Rabbit” follows the titular character named Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis), the nickname rabbit was given after he fails to kill a rabbit at the training camp designed for future soldiers for the Nazis and Hitler. Jojo admired his hero, his best imaginary friend (Taika Waititi), as he calls the man who teaches killing, talking about supremacy, and the destruction of all living jews – the noblest on Earth. But after the young boy learns that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) works for the resistance and finds a Jew girl (Thomasin McKenzie) hiding in their house, he must choose between the ideology and propaganda he bought into or his humanity, kindness, and gentle heart that begins changing him from the inside.

Jojo, the same as all little children, was taught that Jews do not even deserve to exist. The boy has no doubt about that. That’s why when he meets Elsa, he is ready to report her but falls short due to the fear of prosecution of his mother that could pay for what she had done with her life. While he decides not to reveal his mother about the discovery, he begins his interaction with Elsa, learning about Jews, who they are, their tradition, and so much more. As he gets deep into the new knowledge he gathers from Elsa, the boy will face the most notable challenge of his life while Hitler continues appearing in his life to control his will and mind.

“Jojo Rabbit” is an outstanding anti-hate satire our current society needs to see. It explores the rich concept of hate. Through the eyes of Elsa, we recognize all the minorities of our world who’re being bullied due to either the color of their skin, culture, country of residence, or just for being a Latina. The film takes one step forward by aiming at Jojo as someone who must face what he is expected to hate the most to start love again. That alone is the beautiful part of the film when with the help of an amazingly talented Roman Griffin Davis and Thomassin McKenzie, we look at our differences no matter where we are and begin treating those who we find different, to love, appreciate, and respect even more.

In the end, “Jojo Rabbit” is one of the most ambitious films of the year. It’s hilarious by all means, the wickedly written lines are biting enough to make you laugh and angry at the same time. However, the social issues the film addresses are as important as stopping any war which we are in right now, whether we realize it or not. This is why films like this can help expand minds that will allow us to go against the flow that promotes negativity. The negativity that will eventually poison us from the inside leaving no chance for recovery.

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