Arts & Culture

Jojo Rabbit Earned its Oscar

Layout Editor, Michael Olderr

Jojo Rabbit is now an Academy-Award winning film written and directed by Taika Waititi. The movie is a satirical piece about how a young boy grows out of Nazi Germany propaganda. 

The film follows the main character Johannes (Jojo) Betzler, played by Roman Griffin Davis. Right off the bat, what this film does best is to show how Jojo sees the world around him. Taika has perfectly recreated the mind of a young boy, one that is both very innocent and at the same time very down-to-earth. Everything that Jojo perceives is very much how a child would rationalize the world around them. About what fuels a boy’s imagination, and how easily their mind can be swayed if a lie is told is within its realm of belief. Griffin exceptionally plays a kid, a nice pure kid who was born in the wrong time in history–and who can’t afford to be a child for much longer. Thomasin McKenzie plays Elsa Korr, a Jewish girl in hiding, and her relationship with Jojo, while not without some flaws, grows nicely throughout the film. It’s through her that the film brings out some of the most meaningful moments. Waititi also plays the role of Jojo’s imaginary friend, a cartoonishly comedic Adolf Hitler. Waititi has such fun in the role of the Nazi leader that you almost wish that he was in the movie more, or that he was playing anything else than Hitler. Jojo also shares the screen with his mother (Scarlett Johansson), who has her own story going on if you look closely enough, and it is through her that you see the movie’s heart. 

Jojo Rabbit also perfectly tackles the propaganda tactics that the Nazi party used. It shows the flaws in their extreme beliefs and makes fun of them for it. The film takes the wind out of the sails of any argument that can be made to defend them. And though the film treats the world around it like it’s a joke, it’s still one of the darkest parts in world history. Jojo Rabbit does not pull any punches, because despite what the movie seems to tell you, it’s still taking place in the waning days of Nazi Germany. The last act of the film really pulls things together– all the characters and story elements come full circle in quite a unique way. It’s not something grand, like something out of a fantasy epic, nor is it sad or bittersweet. It wraps things up in its simple way. Innocence is lost but is replaced with something a little sweeter. It has its own perfect little ending.