“Jojo Rabbit” is an English movie released in 2019 in comedy/drama genre. Jojo, a 10 year old kid, was asked to kill a rabbit by his seniors on the first day in Hitler youth training cap. The bullies gave him the name “Jojo Rabbit” as he could not kill the bunny.
Jojo used to live with his mother Rosie in Nazi Germany. It was time of second world war. Jojo joined the Hitler youth training camp along with his best friend Yorki. The training camp was run by Capt. Klen.
Jojo had a secret imaginary friend, Adolf (Adolf Hitler). Adolf was a child’s imagination of Hitler as a person… Adolf was always with Jojo- running with him, playing with him, swimming with him, even having having serious discussions.
Adolf consoled upset Jojo, he explained why he should he own the name “Jojo Rabbit” given by his bully. For the rabbit, is not ordinary. It is courageous enough to face the world everyday, it comes out of his hole not fearing the dangerous predators in the jungle that could kill it- to gather food for its family.
Pumped up with energy Jojo came back running, but he met an accident and was admitted to the hospital. Jojo’s face and body were scarred, he could not straight. His mother took his to the office, so that poor fellow could still feel included. He used to distribute propaganda leaflets and other small tasks. Jojo’s mother Rosie, forced him to see people hanged to death on the road- foreshadowing an inevitable turn of their destiny.
Jojo found out a girl, living secretly in his house. Elsa was a Jew, if it was found, Rosie would be punished. Jojo’s imaginary friend Adolf was throwing Jojo against her. Starting with baseless hatred for Jews at first, He confronted his mother for hiding a Jew, to be unpatriotic… He was complaining about his dad not being around him at that moment. Disheartened Rosie cried for a moment and the next moment she pretended to be Jojo’s dad and cheer the boy up.
Jojo eventually realized that Elsa was a nice girl. She was helping him to write a books on Jews, since Jojo was already so misinformed about the Jews, Elsa added even more spice to that- telling that Jews could read mind, hang from the ceiling and what not! She also told him about her boyfriend Nathan…
Jojo started liking her company. He used to write letter to Elsa pretending to be Nathan. He used to read those letters to her. “You are not Nazi”, else used to tell him and Jojo used to deny every time. After all Hitler was his idol, his photos were 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 stuff like an adult, she wished that Jojo could lead the life of normal kid, playing around, climbing trees and falling down. She was always busy with things that she could not share with the little guy.
People came to inspect Jojo’s house if they have given shelter to any Jew and Elsa acted like Jojo’s elder sister who was dead.
Capt. Klen was also present, who found out the truth easily but he kept it to himself…
Couple of days later, Jojo found out Rosie’s body hanged at the same place he had come to with his mother earlier. The boy was devasted, broken into thousand pieces, embraced Rosie’s legs in his chest for the last time and tried to tie her shoe-laces. Anguised Jojo rushed to stab Elsa and then broke down again.
Jojo heard the news of Hitler committing suicide from his friend Yorki and could not believe his ears.
Soon, Jojo, Yorki and other kids had to take part in the war… Grenades were being strapped with little kids and sent for giving enemies “hug”. The war ended soon, the German soldiers were captured and shot… Jojo met Capt. Klen where the German soldiers were kept, he asked to take care of his “sister” and shoved him away, pretending Jojo to be a Jew- thus saving his life.
The table was turned, being Nazi was no more a safe. Jojo’s friend Yorki survived the war and he hid his uniform away…
Jojo realized that his new “girl” friend Elsa was no more to live with him as Germany lost the war. He ran to home and lied to her about the war.
Adolf was mad with anger for Jojo befriending the Jew girl, Adolf’s head had sign of a gunshot. Instead of listening to him, he kicked his imaginary friend out of the window…
When Elsa stepped out of the house, she saw the Nazi flags being taken down and US army everywhere… Elsa also confessed about Nathan, who died a year back. She played along when Jojo used to read the 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 RilkeAppeared as the last scene of Jojo Rabbit
My final thoughts on “Jojo Rabbit”:
I came across the movie trailer in Netflix ad last year. I was curious after watching that short clip only.
I never watched a movie like “Jojo Rabbit”. A 10 year old boy, being full-on Nazi in his mind, hated everything about the Jews. His thoughts changed only after meeting Elsa. Jojo’s mother, Rosie was such a strong woman who helped Elsa, risking her own life. Jojo is the true hero of the story- his journey from hanging out with his idol to kicking him out of his life was so incredible. I was amazed to see the character Adolf, played by Taika Waititi. A serious situation presented in a comedic manner, yet made me emotional at the end…