A gentle giant and the girl who raised her are caught in the crossfire between animal activism, corporate greed and scientific ethics.
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, An Seo Hyun
Director: Bong Joon Ho
I was really keen on watching this film as it has been receiving rave reviews. Even from Mark Kermode! However, I found it to be disappointingly ok. Definitely didn’t live up to the hype.
I felt like the movie couldn’t make up it’s mind on whether it was a comedy or a serious drama. It just seemed all over the place with contrasting bits of exposition and over the top characters. I really liked Tilda Swinton’s performance in this though.
Thoughts on the movie:
- Okja looked more hippo than pig. And apparently hippo meat nearly became a mainstay at the dinner table:
The dawn of hippopotamus ranching in America was 1910. There was a very serious meat shortage. These were peak years of immigration, cities were exploding, the meat industry was getting bigger and uglier but it could not keep up. America had always solved its problems by moving west, but now the frontier was closed. So it was a meat crisis, but it was also kind of an identity crisis.
- When or how did Mija find the time to learn English?
- The highlights of the movie for me – the underground mall chase and the Korean truck driver.
Better written reviews:
Yes, it’s a completely weird movie, one that can feel like a cartoon and a horror at the same time, that can make you laugh amid the darkest of scenes. I realize this movie won’t be for everyone, but I found it profoundly interesting. Tilda Swinton is excellent, and Gyllenhaal does something we’ve never seen from him before. But it’s Seo-Hyun Ahn who steals the show, her bond with Okja and her purity of heart that elevate this movie from fantasy to fable.
Okja, just like its titular character, is an ungainly bizarre hybrid – one part family movie, one part action adventure, and one part dark satire. However it can also be said that this is what saves it from being another formulaic hallmark movie about an animal and her human. It’s a technically impressive movie with bold statements that are worth pondering about.
It’s a genius film, with a very clever twist on a topic that is very relevant in today’s society. Everything about it is very well done, and every second is enjoyable. You will be shocked, upset, thrilled, and jumping out of your seat during Okja, and when a film can make you do all that, you know it’s good.