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Off-Topic: Jojo Rabbit (2019) Review

Off-Topic features articles about all the art forms excluding literature

Jojo Rabbit (2019) isn’t one of the best movies of the previous decade, but it’s certainly one of the finest 2020 Best Picture nominees that you should be sure to watch this year.

What I loved most about this film is its unprecedented storyline. The second-best aspect is the treatment of the sensitive subject matter by Taika Waititi (director of Thor: Ragnarok) through his own adapted screenplay of the novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens. 

The drama never becomes too melodramatic when it concerns the relationship of our two main characters, the 10-year old Nazi aspirant Johannes (Roman Griffin Davis) and the Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie). The ensemble includes big names such as Scarlett Johansson and Taika Waititi (who surprisingly doesn’t have the most entertaining character here as opposed to what was advertised by the trailer), and supporting players such as Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, Alfie Allen, Archie Yates and Stephen Merchant all do an all-round fantastic job.

The main problems concerning the movie was that it starts well, with the middle portion being the most fun segment, but the third act falls short of what was promised from the magnificent first and second acts. The pacing is also uneven though when the depressing parts present themselves, they manage to tug at every heart string.

Additionally, I don’t mean to undermine Johansson’s stellar performance as Johannes’ mother but the two leads namely Davis and McKenzie performed better especially given their relative inexperience. Still, Johansson does deserve double nods at this year’s Academy Awards though she was even better in Marriage Story than she was here, and I predict that she’ll get the Best Actress accolade at the 92nd Academy Awards for the latter.

To end with, Jojo Rabbit does not fall into the category of what you see is what you get as its trailer managed to hide its emotional depth—and after finishing and reviewing this flick—that probably was for the best.

Nisar Sufi
Content Writer, Indie Horror Author, Book Reviewer, Film Critic and Fortune Teller @knowthyfuture
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