Jordan-Luke McDonald’s review published on Letterboxd:
Film365 | Film #21
This is the first of my reviews this year that doesn't open with a blockquote. And that's because I simply cannot choose one single quote to emphasise my feelings. Kudos to Taika Waititi here for an amazing script. Major respect for his abiltiy to once again write, direct and star in a blockbuster movie.
God damn it. I'm in tears. And I was at various points throughout this film. This was beautful and tragic in equal measure. It is exactly what I wanted it to be. I'm glad that this "anti-hate satire" wasn't a flat-out comedy.
Fuck war. Fuck hate. Fuck fascism.
I've seen some people say that this wasn't funny. I've seen others say that it is inappropriate to make a comedy/satire about Nazi Germany. I've seen others say that this film is about the Holocaust. And further still, others have labelled it as "too safe".
I disagree with all of these statements, but that is almost besides the point. My point is that this film has been levelled with several criticisms, all of which seem to contradict one another and all of which, at least in my opinion, have little evidence from the film itself.
The core trio of Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie and Scarlett Johansson are sensational. The supporting cast is excellent too - Stephen Merchant and Archi Yates, for example, deserve their own mentions.
Some of the moments in this movie are so powerful. Some of the reveals hit so hard. The blank page. The shoelaces. The tiger painting. The final scene. The recurring theme of trust and the issue of freedom.
And despite its purpose to entertain and to challenge, to provoke thinking and to invoke emotion, Waititi still manages to achieve a level of cinematic nuance with his filmmaking. Some of the cinematography is very clever indeed. An all-time great in my eyes.