Author Topic: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi  (Read 9036 times)

QDRPHNC

  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • "A soupçon of pizzazz."
Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #60 on: January 10, 2020, 10:56:59 PM »
I saw it in the theatre so naturally had to fight the moists, but yes, I would have blubbed in private at THAT bit.

Did help that Jojo himself looks like the spit of my sister's twin boys who are 10.

Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #61 on: January 10, 2020, 11:08:04 PM »
He is a 10-year-old's idea of what Hitler is though, not a real representation. It is all in his head and so is going to act like a kid and be silly and only occasionally threatening.
but... a person who was threatening to me as a kid could be really fucking threatening. There was the potential for a swing in the character there that an actor could've gotten some strong mileage out of. Instead this brainwashed kid seems forget Hitler even exists except for when its convenient (e.g. the level of his response to the news that Hitler is dead was totally off from the outright ambivalence he was showing for a good two thirds of the film by that point).

I was skeptical beforehand but thought the idea of Hitler as an imaginary friend was a really great idea, having watched it I felt like there was the potential to drag way more out of it.

Dewt

  • ゴーリー! ゴースト!
Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #62 on: January 10, 2020, 11:12:06 PM »
It would be weird not to be affected by the death of somebody you were once really close to but have fallen out with.

Imaginary Friend Hitler represented Jojo's internal struggle and personal development in way that is fun to watch. I don't think there's anything else to it. The actual story isn't about a kid and his delusions.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #63 on: January 10, 2020, 11:13:41 PM »
Yeah, what you're thinking of is Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #64 on: January 11, 2020, 12:26:13 AM »
but... a person who was threatening to me as a kid could be really fucking threatening. There was the potential for a swing in the character there that an actor could've gotten some strong mileage out of. Instead this brainwashed kid seems forget Hitler even exists except for when its convenient (e.g. the level of his response to the news that Hitler is dead was totally off from the outright ambivalence he was showing for a good two thirds of the film by that point).

I was skeptical beforehand but thought the idea of Hitler as an imaginary friend was a really great idea, having watched it I felt like there was the potential to drag way more out of it.

But why would his imaginary friend be threatening to him? The whole point was that he was his idol and acted how a 10  year old would think a cool leader would act. The brief glimpses of the darker side were JoJo's own self doubt and self-hatred so to be more extreme wouldn't really work for the character I don't think.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #65 on: January 11, 2020, 09:52:05 AM »
Everyone else in this thread has explained why this film works so beautifully, but I just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of approval. I loved it.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #66 on: January 11, 2020, 10:25:06 AM »
Fucking Eva, I've just read some of the broadsheet reviews of this. I can't remember the last time I felt so at odds with, broadly speaking, a critical consensus. They appear to have misunderstood the film on a fundamental level, almost wilfully so.

Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #67 on: January 11, 2020, 02:26:18 PM »
Pete Bradshaw calls it a "schmaltzy satire" when it is neither, which isn't great. Kermode says it is too unclear and unfocused but I think it is very sure in its tone and intent. Maybe they think it isn't satirical enough about the Nazis but, well, we all know that Nazis are bad. That doesn't need stating. Maybe they thought it should be more relevant to the rise of the right today but that isn't what it is trying to do either. It seems to be going down really well with Twitter and the general public so maybe this is one of those ones that the critics will be embarrassed by in years to come

imitationleather

  • "The French... are famous... for their kissing"
    • http://last.fm/user/ImiLeathr
Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #68 on: January 11, 2020, 02:54:08 PM »
It seems to be going down really well with Twitter and the general public so maybe this is one of those ones that the critics will be embarrassed by in years to come

Yep. Is this decade's Sex Lives of the Potato Men.

Puce Moment

  • Member
  • **
  • Hi guys
Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #69 on: January 11, 2020, 03:14:24 PM »
Pete Bradshaw calls it a "schmaltzy satire" when it is neither, which isn't great. Kermode says it is too unclear and unfocused but I think it is very sure in its tone and intent. Maybe they think it isn't satirical enough about the Nazis but, well, we all know that Nazis are bad. That doesn't need stating. Maybe they thought it should be more relevant to the rise of the right today but that isn't what it is trying to do either. It seems to be going down really well with Twitter and the general public so maybe this is one of those ones that the critics will be embarrassed by in years to come

If this had been a British film made by Garth Jennings or Carol Morley, Kermode would have fallen over himself to praise it. He's so inconsistent.

Mister Six

  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Ridiculously teacakes
Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #70 on: January 11, 2020, 04:31:27 PM »
But why would his imaginary friend be threatening to him? The whole point was that he was his idol and acted how a 10  year old would think a cool leader would act. The brief glimpses of the darker side were JoJo's own self doubt and self-hatred so to be more extreme wouldn't really work for the character I don't think.

Yes, exactly. He's a child's idea of what Hitler is, and a visual stand-in for Jojo's indoctrination by the Nazi Youth League, not a representation of actual Hitler.

Classic bit of CaB "This film isn't doing what I expected it to, therefore it is is bad" criticism.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #71 on: January 11, 2020, 05:33:09 PM »
Pete Bradshaw calls it a "schmaltzy satire" when it is neither, which isn't great. Kermode says it is too unclear and unfocused but I think it is very sure in its tone and intent. Maybe they think it isn't satirical enough about the Nazis but, well, we all know that Nazis are bad. That doesn't need stating. Maybe they thought it should be more relevant to the rise of the right today but that isn't what it is trying to do either. It seems to be going down really well with Twitter and the general public so maybe this is one of those ones that the critics will be embarrassed by in years to come

Did you hear the melt wingeing about it when him and Bowman sat in on Kermode and Mayo. He sounded a right plum, even made noises over Edith when she started offering counter-points.

Puce Moment

  • Member
  • **
  • Hi guys
Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #72 on: January 11, 2020, 09:44:05 PM »
Watched this again at the cinema tonight and would reaffirm that it stands up extremely well to a second watch. I was outside of London and so this got much more laughs from the audience, who all seemed to love it. A few kids there as well.

It's a film that walks a tonal tightrope - and SOOOO many things could have happened to make this not work. This is as close as you can get to being the film I wanted see when I was 10.

I simply do not understand why the critics have a problem with this. Is it some kind of insider industry Waititi backlash?

Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #73 on: January 11, 2020, 10:13:38 PM »
But why would his imaginary friend be threatening to him? The whole point was that he was his idol and acted how a 10  year old would think a cool leader would act. The brief glimpses of the darker side were JoJo's own self doubt and self-hatred so to be more extreme wouldn't really work for the character I don't think.
That's a fair point, I should probably add I didn't like Jojo the character so that probably explains why I didn't emotionally engage so much.

Classic bit of CaB "This film isn't doing what I expected it to, therefore it is is bad" criticism.
Bit rich there, did I say it was bad?

Anyways, I definitely liked it way less than seemingly everyone here, but I still liked it. Think it'd be pretty hard to say it's not schmaltzy though (I'd say all Waititi's stuff is a bit though, c'mon), and its branding as "an anti-hate satire" feels wayyyyyy off.

Is it some kind of insider industry Waititi backlash?
Possibly? Like, personally I don't feel like he's really brought much fresh to the table since Two Cars, One Night, he's just had greater means at his disposal to better convey similar things (big part of why I didn't like Jojo, he felt like a Taika Waititi child protagonist, felt tired), can see how people could be a bit fed up of him. I wonder how many of them are actually familiar with his work way back for it to be at all merited though...

Seems more likely that they watched the film in an agenda focused mindset that totally clashed with what the film actually is though. The marketing has been misleading but if you're a professional critic you should be a bit more capable to adapt to that shit.

Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #74 on: January 13, 2020, 12:31:54 PM »
This film seems to be used as a brickbat to beat up "wokeness", which is ironic, given the message of the film:

https://twitter.com/VictoriaPeckham/status/1216683369188200449

Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #75 on: January 13, 2020, 10:10:29 PM »
Thought it was wonderful, a deft mix of silly humour and powerful pathos. Stephen Merchant was genuinely chilling and, as mentioned above, Rockwell and Johanssen are so impressive.... but the biggest plaudits should go to the kids. Magnificent work.

I did think it would have been good if Taiki's Hitler had suddenly become very real and threatening just before Jojo got rid of him but there's very little else I would wish to change.

Does make me wish we'd gotten a bit more of Rockwell's character ala Three Billboards given how good he was although I spose part of the strength of it is how much is gotten across in a more subtle fashion.

Seemed like the film did go in the direction you suggested with Hitler to me which is the one area that felt a little questionable to me. I spose not doing that would have gotten a much worse reaction but before that point I didn't really get the sense the character was anymore a representation of serious Nazism than Jojo himself was(his anti-Semitism actually seemed more heart felt if anything). I felt the conflict by the end could have been as much about moving past the need for an imaginary friend, actually rejecting the character for the childish selfishness he represented and committing to Elsa instead.

Johansson's death certainly hit hard but I couldn't help thinking the film undersold it a little, I mean a child coming across his mother hanged in the street makes it very hard to accept anything but deep sadness from that point onwards.. Excellent performance by her though, not unexpected with the drama perhaps but very good with the comedy as well.

That sounds rather negative I spose but really more of a reflection of just how well the film was able to juggle so many different directions, the two lead characters are played pretty much perfectly for most of the film avoiding cheap schmaltz.

Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #76 on: January 14, 2020, 12:00:46 AM »
I didn't really get the sense the character was anymore a representation of serious Nazism than Jojo himself was

Isn't that because he is Jojo?

Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #77 on: January 14, 2020, 07:23:04 AM »
Isn't that because he is Jojo?

Indeed although for most of the film he doesn't really seem to represent a pull towards serious Nazism.

Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #78 on: January 14, 2020, 09:11:33 AM »
That's because he isn't supposed to. Jojo just wants somewhere to belong, a club to accept him and a father figure to replace his missing real one. He doesn't really understand Nazism so neither does his imaginary friend.

Mister Six

  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Ridiculously teacakes
Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #79 on: January 14, 2020, 09:37:36 AM »
Yeah, Jojo has blindly accepted the Nazi Party line and all its hateful doctrine without really understanding it, and that's why Waititi's Hitler is similarly confused. "Hitler" here isn't an independent actor capable of his own thoughts. He is limited by Jojo's understanding of what's happening because he is just a representation of Jojo's own desires and beliefs.

I liked that there was that ambiguity or certainly it's not unnecessarily spelled out. Spoiler talk He's part of the resistance, probably because he knows it's not just Jews being persecuted and his lifestyle with Alfie Allen is threatened. He possibly fought with JoJo's dad. I love that you wonder if he's actually having a fling with ScarJo (but maybe that's also a front they're putting up to hide being gay and that's why she's able to chastise him in his own office etc).
But it's twigging the way he bursts in during Stephen Merchant's investigation. He didn't happen to be passing, he's not later for the SS house visit. He'd seen ScarJo in the town square. He was rushing to make sure Jojo doesn't go outside. Which is why he tells him to stay in after the SS leave.


That's sort of convincing, but then why does he fight the Americans when they turn up at the town? Would be safer for him and everyone else if he surrendered. Hitler's dead at that point and even Jojo's mate knows Germany isn't going to win.

I think it's more like he's a career soldier and probably a nationalist, but not down with the extermination of the Jews or (obviously) the gays. Not willing to outright betray his country, but capable of stepping in and diverting the SS when needed, and maybe even willing to look the other way when he sees the resistance members (because they oppose the Nazis, not Germany itself). Plus he obviously has a connection with Jojo, who - like him - was unable to go to war because of the injuries he had sustained.

Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #80 on: January 14, 2020, 11:56:03 AM »
Yeah, Jojo has blindly accepted the Nazi Party line and all its hateful doctrine without really understanding it, and that's why Waititi's Hitler is similarly confused. "Hitler" here isn't an independent actor capable of his own thoughts. He is limited by Jojo's understanding of what's happening because he is just a representation of Jojo's own desires and beliefs.

It does feel by the end that he seems to switch towards directly and aggressively pushing Nazism , you could argue that represents more of a spilt in Jojo himself I spose with "Hitler" representing his guilt at giving up such beliefs. It did seem a little like the film felt it needed to show the character as truly evil and unpleasant but it did come out of the blue a little IMHO. It might have made it a little too dark I spose but I think perhaps an argument between them about his mother might have helped?

I could have seen at ending were Jojo rejects him as much for the naivety and childish self obsession he represents as the ideology he does, more "sorry I can't play with you anymore I'm grown up now".

Quote
That's sort of convincing, but then why does he fight the Americans when they turn up at the town? Would be safer for him and everyone else if he surrendered. Hitler's dead at that point and even Jojo's mate knows Germany isn't going to win.

I think it's more like he's a career soldier and probably a nationalist, but not down with the extermination of the Jews or (obviously) the gays. Not willing to outright betray his country, but capable of stepping in and diverting the SS when needed, and maybe even willing to look the other way when he sees the resistance members (because they oppose the Nazis, not Germany itself). Plus he obviously has a connection with Jojo, who - like him - was unable to go to war because of the injuries he had sustained.

He gives me the impression of almost an older Jojo who's had his idealism knocked out of him by experience but retains the same childlike desire for heroism as shown by his sketches and getup at the end.

I'm guessing a lot of the negative reaction is because the role and the film as a whole somewhat follows Rockwells character in Three Billboards in looking to make people working for or having deeply unpleasant views relatable and able to gain some kind of redemption.

Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #81 on: January 14, 2020, 01:51:54 PM »
I think if you exchanged Hitler for Messi and Jojo's uniform for a Barcelona shirt, that comes closer to his relationship with his imaginary friend. It's a very uncomplicated friendship at the beginning that crumbles as he finds out more about adults in general (not just Adolf).

And for Rockwell's character, is important to remember (and this especially goes for the German military) that pride in the uniform and nationalism didn't always equate to Nazism. It doesn't mean he isn't complicit, but his obvious disillusionment and his actions in the film maybe lead to some atonement.

Rebel Wilson's character is probably the most problematic for me because she's supposed to be the light relief - but she's a 2D comedy cut-out fanatic who's engaging in behaviour we shouldn't find funny, and there is no complexity in her motives.

I'd be interested to read the book it's based on, just to see if the adults are as nuanced as they are on screen.

Dewt

  • ゴーリー! ゴースト!
Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #82 on: January 14, 2020, 02:15:58 PM »
Was Rockwell fighting the Americans? It just seemed like triumphant posing to me, firing his gun into the air.

Mister Six

  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Ridiculously teacakes
Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #83 on: January 14, 2020, 02:18:47 PM »
He just poses like that for Jojo before riding into battle. And as the leader, he could have told everyone to stand down and surrender rather than fight to a futile end - assuming he was a secret resistance member.

Dewt

  • ゴーリー! ゴースト!
Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #84 on: January 14, 2020, 02:25:28 PM »
It was a fantastical scene anyway, so it's silly to apply real-world tactics to it, but

would you expect anybody to be able to command that desperate rabble? Also he was demoted to a youth training group after being deemed unfit for front-line warfare, did he have any power there at all?

Mister Six

  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Ridiculously teacakes
Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #85 on: January 14, 2020, 04:04:48 PM »
He was shown hiring the German shepherds, delegating to underlings and planning for the assault on the town. He clearly had some managerial power. He also went off into battle with a grin.

Dewt

  • ゴーリー! ゴースト!
Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #86 on: January 14, 2020, 04:18:01 PM »
The grinning makes sense if you follow the "he just wanted to look fabulous and fire a gun into the air" interpretation.

He was undoubtedly embedded into the party and did the day to day stuff necessary to function in it, but I don't think that means he could call off the Nazi resistance to the Americans.

(I'm splitting hairs because I find the character interesting, I'm talking it out more than insisting that my interpretation is correct)

Mister Six

  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Ridiculously teacakes
Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #87 on: January 14, 2020, 06:03:11 PM »
Yeah fair enough, I think he's an interesting bloke either way, and your version works too.

Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #88 on: January 14, 2020, 08:51:24 PM »
There is a decent interview with Waititi on the DGA podcast

Re: Jojo Rabbit, Nazi comedy by Taika Waititi
« Reply #89 on: January 14, 2020, 08:55:33 PM »
Rebel Wilson's character is probably the most problematic for me

Applies to pretty much any film Rebel Wilson is in, to be fair.

Tags: