I was just scrolling down my Facebook feed one weekend and came across an article talking about 10 great films to watch on Netflix right now. I glanced over the list and ‘Okja’ was one of the films that in a way garnered my attention.
Having nothing better to do, I switched to Netflix right away.
Starring Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Steven Yeun, Lily Collins, and Jake Gyllenhaal, the main lead of the film is the South Korean child actress Ahn Seo-hyun. Directed by Bong Joon-ho and co-written by Bong and Jon Ronson. It was received several nominations in the Cannes festival this year along with running for the Palme d’Or.
The story revolves around a young girl called Mija and her giant friend ‘Okja’ a massive genetically bred piglet.
The film shows shades of emotions, love, humanity, brutality, selfishness, and mankind. It shows how love is far more than something between a man and a woman and how it can make do things even without getting back anything in return. ‘Okja’ is about a lot of things.
Little Mija lives with her grandfather in a hilly space, amidst nature, in South Korea countryside and Okja who they have been raising since a decade. Tilda Swinton, who plays a weird and crazy business conglomerate running an agrochemical company, Mirando Corporation has some specific plans for the super pig. They ploy to bring back the best and brightest of their mutant piglet back to the company’s headquarters in Manhattan, where they’ll be unveiled to the world and then sent to the slaughter house to be repackaged as beef jerky, bacon, and hot dogs.Mija leaves home to bring ‘Okja’ back and chases her to Manhattan. Next into scene is a team of young bandits who call themselves Animal Liberation Front, headed by Paul Dano’s Jay and Lily Collins’ Red, who team up with Mija to prevent Okja from being taken away by Mirando’s in-spite of the language barrier they face in communicating with Mija.
Bong has been successful in winning his viewer’s attention by creating a less than 2-hour film that for sure will hit a nail in the head. Mija’s high-spirited chase to get Okja is highly emotional, dramatic and full of suspense. Mija’s incessant love for her pet lands her to the horrific cruelties the animals go through in the slaughterhouse, which happens to be the climax scene.
Jake Gyllenhaal’s drunk, pathetic and cruelsome behaviour with the pet is scene you won’t like to watch, but will remember.
The story never moves away from both the characters. It throws a very strong message to the mass, especially to the meat-eaters. Mija’s wild efforts to get the piglet back is a fight I have not yet seen in a film. And who is she fighting with? A massive corporation, with no support or funds or whatsoever to get herself what she wants. She doesn’t even speak the language of the country she lands into. Crazy enough! The last 20 minutes runs too high on emotions to handle. To sum up it is a super emotional pack of – the merciless corporatists, selfless activities, an innocent pet and a full-of-love human being.
The ending is highly justifiable. This definitely happens to be one of the most impactful films I have seen this year.