Taika Waititi's offbeat World War II Hitler comedy 'Jojo Rabbit' nominated for Golden Globes

Waititi's film received praise for its performances and is lauded for its daring foray into the sensitive subject matter

With strains of White Nationalist groups and ideologies making an unwelcome comeback in the real world, it is almost inconceivable how a film representing Hitler, the 20th-century German tyrant who was responsible for one of the worst genocides in history- in a light, comedic and satirical manner can be critically lauded and be up for the Golden Globes.

However, this is exactly what the director of 'Thor: Ragnarok' has achieved with his newest venture 'Jojo Rabbit'.

Light tone, heavy themes

a still from the film
Waititi playing 'Hitler'(left) and Roman Griffin Davis playing the boy in the film(right) @youtube/Foxsearchlight

The film which stars Waititi as the German Chancellor in the form of a hallucination from a child's perspective and child actor Roman Griffin Davis playing the member of the 'Hitler Youth' seeing the dictator, drew both praise and criticism when it released back in October.

Critics praised the film for its performances, with Oscar-winning actor Sam Rockwell also a part of the cast and its restrained manner of dealing with the time period while some critics criticized the film for being slightly sympathetic towards the Nazi's by portraying some of them under a positive light.

the daily show
Waititi promoting the film on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah @youtube/comedycentral

However, it is pretty clear for anyone without presupposed bias to see that the film is a scathing indictment of not just Nazism and White Nationalism, but bigotry based on race as a whole.

The film's central plot deals with Davis's character, a 10-year-old boy who looks up to Hitler and is a part of the 'Hitlerjugend', without understanding the complexity of the situation due to his age and must contend with what his beloved leader is saying about the Jewish people when he finds a young Jewish girl hiding in his room. Despite the film's overall jovial and light tone, it is fairly straightforward with its messaging.

10 years in the making

golden globes
Tim Allen announcing the nominees @youtube/thehollywoodpress

When asked on Jimmy Kimmel show the difficulties that he faced when he decided to tell this story, Waititi said, that people in the industry shot him down during the 'elevator pitch' as soon as they heard the words 'Hitler', hence he decided to write the script and have that float around.

cast of the movie
The cast of the movie at an interview for Variety @youtube/variety

He also spilled the beans during the interview that he had the idea for the script back in 2012 and put in on the back burner to focus on his other projects. Fox Searchlight, the producers of the movie said that they loved the script but would only make the film if Waititi himself was to play the character of the German Chancellor.

Waititi thinks it was probably for the best as he felt casting a famous actor in that role would take away attention from the core of the film which is the relationship between the 2 children in the film. Jojo Rabbit has been nominated for Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy and Golden Globe for Best Actor - Motion Picture or Comedy.