Jojo Rabbit Review



Jojo Rabbit is an upcoming satire from director Taika Waititi

Alexander Tabares, Staff Writer

Release Date: October 18, 2019

Director: Taika Waititi

Starring: Roman Griffin Davis (Jojo), Thomasin McKenzie (Elsa), Taika Waititi (Adolf Hitler), Scarlett Johansson (Rosie), Sam Rockwell (Captain Klenzendorf), Alfie Allen (Finkel), Rebel Wilson (Fraulein Rahm), Stephen Merchant (Deertz), Archie Yates (Yorkie)

MPAA Rating: Pg-13

Our Rating: A

The winner of the Toronto International Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award, “Jojo Rabbit” is a satire that takes place in Germany under Nazi control. It is based on the book “Caging Skies” by Christine Luenens, but the tone and style of the movie are completely different.

In the film, a ten-year-old member of the Nazi Youth, a group formed during World War II to train young boys to become soldiers, finds a young Jewish girl in the walls of his house. He grows a friendship with this girl and begins to question his Nazi beliefs. All the while his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler, tries to tempt him back to the Nazi side. It is a coming of age story about a ten-year-old searching for his self-identity in a terrible period of history.

Although it is comedic, the film has many dramatic, intense and sorrowful scenes. The entire story is packaged in a visually stunning film with a beautiful soundtrack that is both fitting and a pleasure to listen to. It is a genuinely human movie, with the actors’ (many of which are children) representations and dialogue being very realistic for characters of their ages. The movie, however, is not for everyone. It is a very personal experience that truly depends on the viewer’s sense of humor and sensitivity to the subject of World War II.

The film is undoubtedly gorgeous. Its bright colors pop in a setting that is normally portrayed as dark, grey and gloomy. The movie definitely has a unique and fresh style to it.

The music used in the movie was surprising. Instead of using primarily military music and marches, the movie uses orchestral themes that only enhance the scenes they are in. This light, background music never takes away from the movie, and the film even includes music created decades after World War II.

“I was expecting the movie to only have music from that time period, so to have newer music kind of took me out of this time and, in some ways, the story,” freshman Bryan Guillen said.

Roman Griffin Davis plays Jojo, the main character of the film. Although it is his acting debut, Davis plays the role like a seasoned actor would. He demands the spotlight despite competing with a star-studded cast. Of the A-list actors in the movie, Scarlett Johansson was by far the greatest. She played an unusual role compared to others she has played, playing the goofy, fun-loving mother of Jojo brilliantly.

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Although the Hitler character was occasionally annoying or redundant, he heightens the comedic value of the movie with his witty remarks.

— freshman Edglhys Jr. Lopez

Taika Waititi has written the movie superbly. The dialogue is witty and downright hilarious, although the nature of the subject matter makes the humor subjective. Somehow, the film is able to be both funny and sad, and switch between the two seamlessly without losing the impact of either.

“I did not even know that a movie could be both hilarious and really sad. It surprised me to say the least,” freshman Alastor Barrabes said.

It would be an understatement to say that this movie is subjective. It may seem that the presentation of World War II is offensive and disrespectful, especially in the comedic setting of the film. Despite this, the craftsmanship of it is impeccable, and the characters are down-to-earth. We believe the film deserves an A rating, but acknowledge it may not be everyone’s cup of tea.