By Harry Cunningham
Science Fiction/ Drama (2017)
Director Bong Joon-ho brings a whole lot to the table with his latest Science fiction/ drama; Okja. As a lover of independent films, this one caught my eye. However, to my surprise, it was filled with many familiar faces from Hollywood. These included Tilda Swinton (Hunger Games), Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko), Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad). However, this wasn’t necessarily beneficial for the film. The story follows a young South Korean girl who lives in the mountains with her Grandfather (a farmer) who was nominated to look after a genetically modified Super-Pig as part of a 10-year competition. The Super-Pigs were designed to put a stop to world hunger in an ethical and sustainable way – but is this the case? Okja is taken by the multi-national corporation and Mija begins her rescue mission to save her beloved animal. The film served as consistent entertainment throughout, from the heartwarming bond between Mija and Okja to the comedy and the shenanigans of the Animal Protection Rescue characters. There were also many various on-edge moments regarding Mija’s mission to save her beloved pig from becoming extremely tasty bacon. The story was creative and thought-provoking, the cinematography was outstanding. As a viewer the film definitely made me reflect on my own eating habits and the ethics of farming. Not for very long though as I was enjoying various mince filled party pies throughout the viewing (laughs). However, I feel like the most annoying characters in the film were the ones from Hollywood. Jake Gyllenhaal played an estranged animal doctor who only showed his love for animals on camera. Although his character was probably meant to be disliked – it was too much for me. Giancarlo Esposito always does an amazing job of being a villain with untouchable power and Mija’s actor (Seo-Hyun Ahn) honored her career’s debut.
Okja is a great film for these cold Perth nights. So put on some extra layers and dive into the 2 hour Netflix Blockbuster. Heartwarming but it will keep you on the edge of your seat. Beautiful cinematography 4/5