New Zealand’s Taika Waikiki is considered one of contemporary cinema’s major pop-culturally savvy talents. And with his latest “antihate- satire” JOJO RABBIT, he’s definitely out to underline his status as such. Waikiki himself plays a screwy slapstick-Hitler, 10-year-old Jojo’s best, albeit imaginary friend. Jojo aims to be a fearless Nazi, only he’s too sweet and not reckless enough to even kill a bunny. Waikiki mixes elements of broad comedy (Sam Rockwell as an intoxicated Nazi captain) with a more subtle approach to upending and playfully unearthing the stereotypes and resentments of the era (and the analogous, ever recurring ingredients of the period piece).
When Jojo discovers that a Jewish girl named Elsa is hiding in his attic, the two start a duel on who is more convincing in acting out clichéd and popular concepts of nationhood and race – the boy actually starts creating a sketchbook on Jewish otherness.
Waikiki delivers a comedy full of quirky ideas, some of them a bit overstretched, others brilliantly trenchant. As a satirist, he prefers to look on the bright side, until David Bowie can finally sing his song “Helden” (in German). Scarlett Johansson also gives a buoyant performance as Jojo’s mother, who has her own life-defining secrets. (Dominik Kamalzadeh)
- Griffin Davis - Jojo Betzler
- Thomasin McKenzie - Elsa Korr
- Taika Waititi - Adolf Hitler
- Scarlett Johansson - Rosie Betzler
- Sam Rockwell - Captain Klenzendorf
- Taika Waititi nach einem Roman von Christine Leunens
- Mihai Malaimare Jr.
- Tom Eagles
- Michael Giacchino
- Ra Vincent
- Mayes C. Rubeo
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures