“Jojo Rabbit” is an English movie released in 2019 in the comedy-drama genre. On his first day of Hitler Youth training, 10-year-old Jojo was asked to kill a rabbit by his seniors. The bullies gave him the nickname “Jojo Rabbit” when he couldn’t bring himself to do it.
Jojo Rabbit Movie Plot
Jojo and his mother Rosie used to live in Nazi Germany during World War II. Jojo attended the Hitler Youth training camp with his best friend Yorki, which was run by Capt. Klen. He had a secret imaginary friend named Adolf, who was a child’s version of Hitler himself—running, playing, swimming and even having serious discussions with him.
Adolf consoled Jojo, explaining why he should own the name “Jojo Rabbit” given by his bully. The rabbit is not ordinary; it is courageous enough to face the world every day and come out of its hole without fear of dangerous predators that could kill it – to gather food for its family.
Pumped up with energy, Jojo ran back but met an accident and was admitted to the hospital. His face and body were scarred; he couldn’t stand straight. His mother took him to the office so he could still feel included, doing tasks like distributing propaganda leaflets. Rosie forced Jojo to watch people hanged on the road, foreshadowing their destiny.
Jojo discovered a girl living secretly in his house. Elsa was Jewish, and if it was found out, Rosie would be punished. Jojo’s imaginary friend Adolf encouraged him to hate Jews. At first he had baseless hatred for them, then he confronted his mother for hiding a Jew and accused her of being unpatriotic… He complained about his dad not being around at that time. Disheartened, Rosie cried briefly before pretending to be Jojo’s dad and cheering him up.
Jojo eventually realized that Elsa was a nice girl. She helped him write a book about Jews, since Jojo was so misinformed about them. Elsa added even more to the story, telling him they could read minds and hang from ceilings! She also told him about her boyfriend Nathan. Jojo started liking her company; he wrote letters to Elsa pretending to be Nathan and then would read them aloud to her. “You’re not Nazi,” she used to tell him, but every time he’d deny it – after all, Hitler was his idol and his photos were plastered all over Jojo’s room! How could he give up being Nazi suddenly?
Rosie never liked her 10-year-old son to stress over war and adult matters. She wished that Jojo could lead the life of a normal kid, playing around, climbing trees, and falling down. She was always busy with things she couldn’t share with the little guy. People came to inspect Jojo’s house to see if they had given shelter to any Jews, and Elsa acted like Jojo’s elder sister who had died. Capt. Klen was also present; he easily found out the truth but kept it to himself…
A couple of days later, Jojo discovered Rosie had hanged herself at the same place he and his mother had visited earlier. Devastated, Jojo broke into a thousand pieces, embraced Rosie’s legs for the last time and tried to tie her shoe-laces. Anguished, Jojo rushed to stab Elsa before collapsing again. When his friend Yorki told him about Hitler’s suicide, Jojo couldn’t believe his ears.
Soon, Jojo, Yorki and other kids had to take part in the war. Grenades were strapped to little kids and sent to give enemies a “hug.” The war ended soon; the German soldiers were captured and shot. Jojo met Capt. Klen at where the German soldiers were kept, he asked him to take care of his “sister” and shoved him away, pretending that Jojo was a Jew—thus saving his life. Being Nazi was no longer safe. Jojo’s friend Yorki survived the war and hid his uniform away.
Jojo realized that his new “girl” friend Elsa wouldn’t be living with him anymore, as Germany had lost the war. He ran home and lied to her about it. Adolf was furious with Jojo for befriending a Jewish girl; there was a gunshot wound on Adolf’s head. Instead of listening to him, Jojo kicked his imaginary friend out of the window… When Elsa stepped out of the house, she saw Nazi flags being taken down and US soldiers everywhere… Elsa also confessed about Nathan, who had died a year earlier. She used to pretend when Jojo read letters to her.
The two kids started dancing to the song of freedom.
“Let everything happen to you- beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.”– Rainer Maria Rilke ( Appeared as the last scene of Jojo Rabbit )
I came across the movie trailer for “Jojo Rabbit” in a Netflix ad last year. I was curious after watching that short clip only. I had never seen a movie like it before. A 10-year-old boy, full of Nazi beliefs and hatred for Jews, changed his thoughts once he met Elsa. Jojo’s mother, Rosie, was an incredibly strong woman who risked her life to help Elsa. Jojo is the true hero of the story—his journey from idolizing Adolf to kicking him out of his life was incredible. Taika Waititi’s portrayal of Adolf made me emotional at the end despite its comedic presentation of a serious situation…
I’d rate Jojo Rabbit (2019) 9 out of 10.
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