This Netflix Original Film, written and directed by Bong Juon Ho, tells a tale about a young girl’s love for her pet, Okja, and what she will do to keep her.
It stars newcomer An Seo Hyun as Mija, a young Korean girl who tries to protect her pet and best friend from being sent back to America and being slaughtered. Okja is an oversized, “GMO free” pig (a “superpig” as referred to in the movie), created by the Mirando Corporation to produce mass amounts of meat. After ten years of letting Okja grow, the Mirando Corporation, led by Lucy Mirando (played by Tilda Swinton), plans to ship her back to America. By this time Mija has created a bond with Okja, and won’t let her go without a fight. Throw in some animal rights activists, corporate greed, and just the right amount of CGI, and you’ve got a film capable of great things.
Speaking of great things, the best part of this film is the acting. The performances by everyone are spectacular, though the stand out would have to be that of An Seo Hyun. She is able to take a young innocent character and turn her into a strong humble one. The character Jake Gyllenhaal portrays should also not go unmentioned. He plays Dr. Johnny Wilcox– a crazy and quirky TV host– though not without giving us some great comic relief.
This is also a well written film. Though many could see it as a protest to using animals as food, it is more of a film about Mija’s growth as a character and fighting for what’s hers. There are a few great plot twists as well, which make this film not one to be missed.
Okja is a smart film filled with an even amount of drama, comedy, and adventure. It’s definitely a must-see.