I trusted Bong Joon-ho to bring something interesting to the story that sounds just like vegan propaganda and a Free Willy mix.
I'm gonna be honest with you, watching a movie about a little girl and her big animal isn’t usually my idea of a good time, but I had to give Okja a chance, mainly because it was made by Bong Joon-ho, since I know he’s capable of awesome thrillers such as The Host and Mother, plus with a bunch of actors that I love are in the cast, I had faith in him bringing something interesting to the story that sounds just like vegan propaganda and a Free Willy mix. Fortunately I was very wrong... well actually wasn’t wrong at all.
Okja does revolve around the friendship between a little girl and a genetically modified animal, but I still enjoyed the shit out of this film. The subject matter will make you think twice about where your juicy steak comes from, but there’s so much more to it: I did not think this film would have all this action and comedy, what I did expect was the feels and they got delivered.
Okja has a few slow bits but it still is a very solid film that managed to have all around likeable characters in their own special way.
Delusional big corporation CEO Lucy Mirando, that looks like she’s straight out of a Soundgarden video, embodies flawlessly madness and desperation. Over the top nature lover, fame whore but also face of the company Johnny Wilcox is just purrfect, the guys from the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), an actual real organization fighting to free captured animals while at the same time damage big corporations, which is basically the equivalent of Robin Hood for animals and they are funny as hell.
I was also taken by surprise with the return to the screen of a Walking Dead beloved actor that his demise is still an open wound in the fan's heart. Hint: he has South Korean heritage.
Don’t miss the post credit scene, that’s also where I realized I had under my nose for a good chunk of the film one of the main actors from Train to Busan.
Of course I'm not forgetting the two lovable protagonists, the massive but equally sweet and intelligent beast Okja, that is called a super-pig but to me looks more like a big hippo with a manatee face that acts like a dog, that was brought to life by VFX supervisor Erik De Boer (Oscar winner for Life of Pi), and when after 10 years of idyllic life in the mountain she’s seized, bff Mija, who I promise you will turn into the Korean answer of Liam Neeson's character from Taken.
I was sad to hear that Okja was booed at Cannes before it even started when the Netflix logo appeared on screen - obviously the snobs that attended the festival didn’t know that the director couldn’t find anyone else to fund the movie since it was a bit on the weird side, and it also sounds like they never got stuck at home for a whole weekend eating takeaway and watching endless hours of entertainment thanks to the streaming company (fuck the haters, God Bless Netflix!).
But there is a happy ending to this story: Okja got a standing ovation when the screening was over… they must have felt like fools then.
The real question after watching a movie like this is: will Okja turn you vegetarian? Hell no, but it sure will make you think about it, especially after discovering that animals get shot in the head, not to kill them mind you, just to scramble their brain before getting slaughtered and the anuses are used for hot dogs. Yikes!
Life can be hard at the top of the food chain.