Taika Watiti‘s newest film, Jojo Rabbit, is the perfect fantasy, comedy, drama, coming-of-age story, I didn’t know how much I needed.
And listen, I’m not a movie critic. I’m just a person with a website who likes to talk about things that I experience. And, this movie was an experience. The movie’s trailers lead me to believe I was simply headed into a comedic satire about a little boy with an imaginary friend who happens to be Adolf Hitler. It’s a crazy concept, of course. I knew it had to be deeper than that. Oh, and it was.
I had high expectations for the film, simply because it had Taika Watiti‘s name on it. This is the man who is responsible for saving the Thor franchise. And what was once a disaster became one of my favorite films in the Marvel franchise. He is also responsible for the wildly hilarious What We Do in the Shadows.
Taika Watiti has a very unique form of story telling. He has this style that is very human, and it was amazing seeing him go back to his Indie roots for this film. You can tell that he puts his entire heart into his work, and it truly pays off. I was pleasantly surprised by how emotional and thought
At the center of this film we have Roman Griffin Davis in his break out role as Jojo Betzler. This character grew up under Hitler‘s rule, dreaming of one day fighting for his country to make his hero proud. Roman‘s portrayal was amazing, and his comedic timing was perfect. He was even able to hit the emotional beats and sell them so well. The emotional chemistry with his co-star Thomasin McKenzie who played Elsa was also something that just made that film feel that much more real.
I have no doubt this movie will get all the awards it clearly deserves. Since seeing it yesterday, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the messages and themes throughout. Although this movie was based during WWII, this is something that needs to be seen by many. This story of a boy’s misguided fantasy, and faith shows how easy it is for society to be manipulated into hating minorities, religions, and groups of people through propaganda. On the other hand, it also shows that even in a cruel world, compassion, and love are still worth embracing. However, we have to fight and confront the cruelty within ourselves first.
Words: Celine Martinez | Featured Photo: Twentieth Century Fox