Daniel's Productions’s review published on Letterboxd:
That awkward moment when you cast yourself as Hitler
This was the last 5 star movie I hadn't reviewed yet, and that's because I wanted to wait to rewatch it. I only saw it once at the end of 2020 and part of me wondered how my opinion would stand after watching more well acclaimed live action movies, often about World War 2. I want to say this movie is a masterpiece that gets almost every aspect right. It's brillaintly shot, funny and has a strong story that is filled with a lot of meaning. I don't get every bit of symbolism, but I think I picked up on a lot of smaller details. This still works on a surface level and the themes it wants to tell is made better by a comedic first half. I don't like how there is some discourse about this because I have trouble imagining how someone could actually watch the movie that way. It's whole thing is making fun of Nazi culture and their views on jewish people. It is so obvious about it's mockery but apperently joking about Hitler being dumb is too much. There's also the argument it justifies Nazis, but it is important to register not everyone who once supported those beliefs is inheritely bad. Sure, people who are nazis in modern today are because it's a complete choice, but the highly propogana filled and hateful 1930s and 40s Germany fueled a lot of people into the wrong thing especially children. While I don't want to quite defend random nazis from the past, the blame should be put on the government and belief systems. Anyway, this uses that from a really powerful coming of age movie. There is a book 'the Boy in the Striped Pajamers' that I still really like for it's story about innocense being corrputed. However, it has to change what Nazi Germany was like for the story it was telling leading to the Holocaust Memorial to disavow it. I have to admit Jojo Rabbit is better for having this character arc placed around the setting that's told in an amazing way. Hitler as an imaginary friend is a funny idea and he serves as a fun comic relief character who is used in the right amount of scenes. This adds a lot of personality to his mind and begins to show that he is different from his Nazi side by breaking away from it. Hitler starts off comedic, but becomes less important as the movie goes on. Him seeming less quirky and more derranged is paced naturally ending with a brillaint final scene for him. This whole movie manages a really effective tone shift. It's funny first half is left with one scene that just leaves you in silence for quite a while. It takes itself seriously, and reveals the audience should have been from the beginning, while keeping a few well fitted comedy. From here on, the movie's emotion feels empty and confused to represent how Jojo feels at this moment. His growth of proving himself was done by standing up against Hitler and his own belief system. The original story was apparently darker, but I like how this takes it to be so meaningful. The dancing ending also works greatly as it's a callback and such a clever way to symbolise freedom. This is one of those endings that just gives you a feel for the overall movie right after. The cutting between both main characters on either side dancing is brillaint. Onto cinematography, this takes a style similar to Wes Anderson with the wider shots and general style it takes, but it's not just a copy. There's no filter, and it does it's own thing with a stylised look with cool camra shots and details. I like how Elsa is first presented like it's a horror movie, but her presentation adapts across the movie. There's also something about the movie's characters that stick out from the screen. I can't explain it but this is a very vibrant and expressive world that is brillaintly directed. This movie is something special with how it's written in a very compelling way, but the comedy is also funny. My only problems is a couple scenes that drag on, and his friend Yorki is severely underused. He is really funny in every scene and gets some of the funniest lines of the movie. Jojo Rabbit is one of the best live action movies I've seen. I feel sad about how some people stopped watching after a certain point because they never got to see where this was going. The comedy is both funny and being satirical against fascism and using such a creative idea of an imaginary friend to show these themes is genius. I'm so glad I finally watched it again and I hope my next watch won't take another 3 years, but I don't see myself rewatching it as much as some of my other top rated movies.