Roselyn 🌹’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Your mother took me in. She's kind. She treats me like a person."
Later in the Film:
"You and your friends may have heard a rumor that Hitler only has one ball. This is nonsense. He has four."
Many Movies, especially as of recent, have decided to go the dramedy route, Deciding to mix Comedic characters and Dialogue in an inherently Dramatic story or a story with lots of dramatic moments. For many films, this can be a Death wish, as walking the tonal tightrope without slipping up Is a mighty task, one that's easy to fail if not handled with the utmost care, an example that doesn't work would be something like Captain marvel, which has flat comedy that creates a tonal shift with the main character, or The rise of Skywalker, which has multiple moments of comedy throughout that End up ruining any Tension or intrigue that that scene may have originally had without it (Although that is still the least of the Movie's Issues). Sure, these films are blockbusters, so they are juggling a lot more in terms of budget and scale compared to a much smaller character driven story like this one, but The Point still stands that these films attempt to mix Humor and Comedy and instead of benefiting to make these films a more enjoyable experience these instead leave the films falling flat on their face.
However, these are movies where the comedy Is acceptable because the story isn't to serious on it's own. However, With JoJo Rabbit, Taika Waititi Had the Difficult task of bringing the horror Of WWII And the Holocaust with a sense of humor that can work for Both PG-13 and Adult audiences, what makes this even harder is the film being adapted from a book, Caging Skies, That Is extremely darker than the film ever even tries to be (Seriously, I won't spoil it but my god man what the hell). However, Taika Waititi Showcases his talented directing and writing chops to the table in a Heartfelt story of war, Love, Horror and Confronting your hatred that may not work for some, But is without a doubt a film that struck me ever since I first saw it and has continue to resonate with me through my 7 watches, as it takes it's Seemingly Outlandish Premise to Create An engaging tale that's as Hilarious as it Is emotional.
The film within it's first few minutes will likely tell you Whether it's for you or not, as it showcases It's approach to humor and Style quite Instantly, with a directing Type that is at times comparable to Wes Anderson (Except with less Yellow) but fully Taika. In my opinion, the film's directing is one of it's strongest aspects, with every nearly every shot feeling purposeful and exciting, with a great sense of color and Where to place the camera. The Rotating colors throughout the film especially, while not Exactly new, Helped In Relating the world around Jojo to the Time him and The people in his personal life (Mainly Elsa and His mother Rosie) Along with Wherever he's in in Germany as a whole as it enters the brink of Chaos Due to the Allied forces getting closer and closer by the day.
Like I said, The film also manages to Show off it's sense of humor within its opening minutes, and while I've seen plenty of people who don't think the sense of humor works, I found it to be one of the funniest movie's of 2019, If not the funniest. It's got such a fun sense of Joy to it to combat some of the Absolutely Ridiculous Beliefs of the Nazis that the film wonderfully pokes fun at, and Surprisingly, especially with such a dark premise, The film never once Felt Like it ruined it's tone, as it gracefully moved between Comedic Dialogue To Pure and unflinching sadness, Knowing just the right moments when to stop to never feel like it is Being disrespectful to the real victim's of The Nazi's Reign. Instead, It leaves behind a trail of Laughs from the Ridiculous characters to the Tears from the Third Reich's Actions, With The Now Infamous Shoe Scene being one of the most heartbreaking moment's I've seen in a theater. the film's Story moves at a near perfect pacing, never feeling too slow or like it's dragging as the Main character learns to Grow And Evolve heavily over the Course of the film.
Speaking of the story and writing, It's simply phenomenal. It's a simple yet complex story Mainly centering on the Feelings and actions of the two Leads, Jojo Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis) and Elsa Korr (Thomasin McKenzie) who might be some of my favorite characters ever put on screen? they are wonderfully written with a lot of depth and emotion behind them and the performances, and JoJo's Evolution from a Patriotic unflinching Nazi to a More Emotional And Loving Rabbit is a Believable one that will be relatable to anyone who's Left behind some originally hateful beliefs they picked up from their area or The people they've lived with. As the story went on, I rarely found myself predicting the outcome of each situation, and the ones I did i found myself satisfied by where they headed. Overall, The writing and story are phenomenal, with a great script that deserved the Oscar that felt carefully planned out and Thoughtful, with complex and likable characters that are as funny as they are intriguing.
In my opinion, some of the most underrated aspects of the film are on the production and Post-Production Side. The editing to this film is great, and perfectly weaves the story through it's Cuts alone, and definitely deserved the Oscar nomination, although that's mainly not even what I'm talking about when I say it felt under talked about. What I'm mainly referring to are the flawless costume designs and Production design that never takes you out of the beautiful looking time period through its carefully planned and Detailed set Designing, which is especially impressive considering the budget for the film is a relatively low 14 million, which overall may not be low but for a period piece war movie is Definitely on the lower side, especially compared to other WWII films like Saving Private Ryan and Hacksaw Ridge, Which costed around 70 million and 40 million respectively. So considering this, I'd say the film only needing to cost 14 million is quite a feat.
One Of the last things I'd like to talk about for this film that really stands out to me is the Absolutely wonderful Soundtrack By Michael Giacchino, aka the composer of Coco, The newer spider man films and the Incredibles, among much more. Michael Giacchino's scores, no matter the film, often stand out as one of the better aspects of the film, and In my opinion his best work resides in this movie, which perfectly combines a playful Feeling of a childish innocence with War Music, filled with marching and all. It's an excellent score, and a part I feel is rarely talked about when discussing this movie. It's a shame, cause honestly it's better than some of the 2019-2020 Music Oscar Nominees. and I should also shout out the uses of real life music, which no, aren't exactly Time period appropriate, but still feel purposeful and Well thought out, especially with it's Lovingly Sad uses Of Mama By Roy Orbison and, Everybody's Gotta live by Love, and The German Version of David Bowie's Heroes, Of which the last one brought me to tears with it's scene pairing more than any other part of the movie.
As a whole, Jojo Rabbit is an absolutely Phenomenal Film. ever since I walked out of the theater I knew it was something special, and I've loved it with all of my heart every day since I first saw it, and despite my Occasional scare that I won't love it as much upon a Rewatch due to Twitter and other social media's constant assurance that everything I love in life is awful, Every time I've Rewatched it (this is my 7th watch now) I've been swept up away in it's magic once more. It's an amazing film that means a lot to me. It's undoubtedly one of my favorite movies of all time, and dare I say A perfect movie, as Throughout my 7 watches I have found nothing to take issue with. I'm certain I'm likely to be one of the only people who feel this way, But I don't care, every time i watch this movie i fall in love all over again, and in my view its a masterpiece that Feels heartfelt, unique, funny and interesting with a great cast of perfectly tuned performances (legit some of the best child performances I've seen in a movie ever) to combine to make A film for the ages. one of love, one of Hatred, one of How we view each other and the world around us, one of patriotism and how far it can go, and most importantly, one of dancing.
“Let everything happen to you:
beauty and terror.
Just keep going.
No feeling is final.”