Movie Review: ‘Jojo Rabbit’- A Satire on the German Fanaticism Showcasing a Greater Tragedy

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“Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.”

- Rainer Maria Rilke

Based on the fantastic book by Christine Leunen that came out in 2008 and was titled Caging Skies, ‘Jojo Rabbit’ is a satire on the Germans and their political stance during the second World War.

What adds to the comical side of the film is that the story is told from the perspective of a ten year old boy. Jojo knows and understands more than most people his age would, but is a super fan of Adolf Hitler.

So much so, that while most ten year olds have tiny little boys and girls as their imaginary friends, Jojo’s imaginary friend is Adolf Hitler


Name of the Movie - Jojo Rabbit

Screenplay and Direction by - Taika Waititi

Based on - Caging Skies by Christine Leunen

Year of Release - 2019

Genre - Dark Comedy

Cast - Roman Griffin Davis (Jojo Betzler), Taika Waititi (Adolf Hitler), Scarlett Johansson (Rosie Betzler), Thomasin McKenzie (Elsa Korr), Archie Yates (Yorkie),  and Sam Rockwell (Captain K).

Duration - 1 hour 48 minutes

Language - English and German

Synopsis - Spoiler Alert!

Jojo Rabbit is the story of a ten year old boy Jojo Betzler, living in 1944 Germany. Jojo is a loyal Nazi and is obsessed with Hitler. He has an excellent imagination, like any child would and sees and talks to Hitler who offers him life lessons, some serious advice and on one or two occasions, even cigarettes. 

Things become difficult for Jojo when he finds out that his mother is hiding a Jew girl in the walls of his deceased sister’s room. Jojo now finds himself in a moral quandary that he cannot get out of. Is he a great patriot or a greater human? Read more to find out. 

About the Director

Picture Credit- Pinterest


Born on August 16th, 1975, Taika David Cohen (known professionally as Taika Watiti) is a New Zealand film and television director, producer, screenwriter, actor and comedian. He co-directed and starred in the horror comedy film What We Do in the Shadows and also directed the famous marvel movie Thor: Ragnarok.

He has received an Academy Award, a Grammy and two Primetime Emmy Award nominations. His latest direction Jojo Rabbit received seven Academy Award nominations and won for Best Adapted Screenplay. 

About the Movie

Set in 1944 Germany, Jojo Rabbit entails the story of Jojo Beltzer, a ten year old boy and a staunch supporter of Hitler. The movie opens with Jojo preparing to go to war camp for training to be a soldier and win the war for his country and then be appointed as one of Hitler’s personal guards.

Jojo goes to the camp with his friend Yorkie, where an injured army veteran, Captain K and two of his assistants are responsible for teaching hundreds of kids about Germany, war and the Jews.

While Captain K teaches the boys how to fire a gun, handle a grenade, rope-climbing and other war-stuff, the girls are taught how to procreate and treat injured soldiers by Fraulein Rahm (played by Rebel Wilson). 

At the camp, Jojo sees the horrors of war and when he fails to kill a rabbit, as asked by the seniors, he is made fun of and they give him the name Jojo Rabbit, which humiliates Jojo and in order to prove that he could be useful, he runs away with a grenade while Captain K is teaching the kids how to handle grenades and gets injured.

Since he is now  injured and can’t serve in the army, Jojo is employed in the administrative office back at home, which makes him very sad. 

One day on returning home after his errands, Jojo finds a girl living in the walls of his sister’s room and later finds out that the girl, Elsa, is a Jew that his mother has been hiding from the Nazis.

Failing to surrender the girl, Jojo soon befriends her and begins writing a book on Jews with her help. When the officers raid his home one day, suspecting that his mother’s a communist, Captain K helps the girl by not revealing her identity and thus saving all their lives.

The war becomes deadly and Jojo’s mother is killed for treason, leaving him with nobody but Elsa. Germany loses the war to America and the Jews are now free. Afraid that Elsa would leave him, Jojo tells her that Germany has won the war but soon tells her the truth. The movie ends with both of them dancing at Jojo’s doorstep, which is what Elsa had intended to do once the war was over. 

Themes Involved

Nazism is probably the most prominent theme in the movie. The anti-semitic and inhumane beliefs of the Nazis and how they mis-educated little children about the Jews and how this impacted their belief system in return is something that has been shown beautifully in the movie. 

The next theme is that of war. The movie is set during the time of the second World War and although it is a parody and is meant to be comical, it does bring out the horrors of the war in its own way. 

Some Impactful Scenes from the Movie

Scene 1:

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Scene 2:

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Scene 3:

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Scene 4:

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The Bottom Line


Jojo Rabbit is a comical representation of the perils of war from the perspective of a ten year old. It is a movie that will make you laugh and move you deeply at the same time. The direction is amazing and the cast is just perfect.

The kind of innocence that Roman Davis brings to the character of Jojo is just remarkable. I promise that this movie will become one of your favourites after you watch it. 

My ratings for the movie - 5 on 5

Written By - Sakshi Singh



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