Jojo Rabbit: Movie Review

War films more often than not are a serious affair. With death, gore, genocide, racism and evil, who could laugh at a very emotional topic and one of the biggest atrocities in human history at that? But Taika Waititi's "Jojo Rabbit" finds a way to balance humor, drama, and impact.
German boy Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) is a true blue Nazi but his world is turned upside down when he discovers his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism against just being an innocent and naive ten year old boy.
Very few have found the perfect balance of humor and drama especially when it comes to interpreting the horrors of war. "Jojo Rabbit" is the rare exception - making this a film that will make you laugh in its first half and will make your heart ache in the second half. It helps that the comedy was simply exceptional. We found ourselves truly amused with how the film found a way to make simple atrocious behavior of the Nazis into something more palatable but still containing that impact-filled punch to the gut. Overall, we found the humor refreshing and the biggest hook for the film and one that defines the film's uniqueness. Another strong point for "Jojo Rabbit" was its exceptional acting. Pretty much everyone delivered a memorable performance but Roman Griffin Davis impressed us most. He had a tough role as the lead in a huge film but he didn't disappoint as he maneuvered the various emotions of the character of Jojo with ease. Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell had memorable performances as well even if they had limited scenes. The story itself was well-paced but it was simple and felt a little too pedestrian at times. "Jojo Rabbit" is a silly but down-to-earth take on the Nazis and their ridiculous beliefs. But the film shouldn't be defined by that fact alone. It's a film centered about humanity and how, even with the worst circumstances, people can overcome anything. And that's truly wonderful.
Rating: 4 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- exceptional balance of humor, drama, and impact

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the story was a bit pedestrian

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