OKJA REVIEW by Carla Renata – The Curvy Film Critic
I’m an animal lover…pure and simple. The animal I have the most love for is my little mischievous Maltese…Spanky. As of late, my furry best friend has been having several medical issues ranging from allergies to skin infections to heart issues. As costly as all of this is, I would do anything to make sure my little furry dude gets the best care money has to buy. The thought of him not greeting me when I come through the door with his little tag wagging and being slathered with zillions of doggy kisses is hard to fathom…yet inevitable. Let’s face it, any living being eventually runs out of time.
Needless to say, when I watched Okja, crying through the credits was not an option.
Okja is a super pig. Not just any super pig, but one that has been genetically mutated and cloned for the pure purpose of turning into jerky for profit. Sounds disgusting, right?! The way science has advanced, the possibility of this on the horizon is greater than not. But, Okja isn’t just about a super pig or a contest or even the greed of humanity to make a buck at any cost. It’s about bringing attention to the cruelty of animals in slaughter houses and in this case, that bond is unbreakable for Okja and her loyal, beloved caretaker Mija (An Seo Hyun).
When the Mirando Corporation takes Okja and transports her to New York, where image obsessed and self-promoting CEO Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton) has big plans for Mija’s dearest friend, Mija sets out on a rescue mission. Her journey quickly becomes complicated when she crosses paths with disparate groups of capitalists, demonstrators and consumers, each battling the fate of Okja for their own personal goals…while all Mija wants to do is bring her friend home.
Seamlessly blending genres, humor, poignancy and drama, Bong Joon Ho (Snowpiercer, The Host) explored premises of the bond between man and animal creates a distinct and layered vision of the world that addresses the animal inside us all. Thanks to the breathtaking skills of cinematographer Darius Khondji, the jungle backdrop set for the home to Okja and Mija had me feeling like a needed a vacation yesterday! It’s absolutely beautiful.
Produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment, Okja will leave you feeling absolutely heartbroken and make you look at your little furry friend or any animal in a different, more loving and empathetic light. The world would be so much better if there were more love not evolved around greed or monetary gain.
Okja is available for streaming via Netflix on June 28th.