Jojo Rabbit Review


Sophia Clifton, Staff Writer

After Taika Waititi directed the blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, he became a household name. However, before his monumental success in the Marvel franchise, he wrote and directed smaller indie films like Hunt for the Wilderpeople and What We Do in the Shadows. Waititi’s strange and irresistable ability to capture both humor and emotion in film has remained constant throughout his career. The success of Thor: Ragnarok opened the door for Waititi’s newest film, Jojo Rabbit. Jojo Rabbit follows the life of a young German boy, Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis,) and his life during the last year of World War II. Waititi’s satirical commentary on facism and its place in everyday life is a thought provoking and heartfelt viewing experience for all audiences.

Jojo Rabbit ventures to do what many films have done before. The mocking humor towards Hitler and his Nazi party is nothing new. However, Waititi does stand out among the collection of Nazi satire films. The intense manipulation and evil of the Nazi party is stunningly highlighted in Jojo Rabbit, but this time, through the eyes of a child.

Roman Griffin Davis, who plays Jojo, is an actor wise beyond his years. Davis captures the natural innocence of youth that has been tarnished with the horror of war. Alongside Davis, Thomasin McKenzie plays a young Jewish girl hiding in Jojo’s house, Elsa. Jojo and Elsa have a tumultuous relationship due to Jojo’s facsination with the Nazi party. The Nazi brainwashing and manipulation can be truly seen in the way Jojo has been conditioned to hate all Jews. Waititi comments on the unseen victims of the war, the children who were bred to be monsters.

One of the best parts of Jojo Rabbit is Scarlett Johansson’s portrayal of Rosie. Rosie is Jojo’s mother, and his only guiding compass amidst the Nazi propaganda surrounding him. Waititi captures the struggle that Rosie goes through trying to raise a son in the hateful setting of the war. Despite Rosie’s struggles with Jojo, she manages to find time to rebel against the Nazi party in secret. Rosie’s righteous rebellion contrasted with the Nazis’ hateful agenda perfectly represents the two sides Jojo is being pulled towards. The young boy must make his own decisions about what he believes in  amidst the chaos of war.