Review: Okja

All for the super pigs

Mija (Seo-Hyun Ahn) is a young girl in South Korea who has been raising a "super pig" named Okja for the last 10 years. You see, Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton) is trying to pass off her company's genetically engineered food as more "heartwarming" so 26 super pigs were sent to farms all around the world 10 years prior to be raised, then entered in a quasi pig beauty contest for the "best" one. However that's all smoke and mirrors as the Mirando company really just plans on chopping them up and making food out of them. Mija is not too keen when Okja is taken from her farm to New York City. She attempts to follow, but runs into some animal rights activists (Paul Dano and Steven Yeun among others) who are trying to save Okja and expose the Mirando Corporation for what they really are.

Okja is a fucking weird movie but in the best way. Nevermind the fact that you have this massive CGI pig running around. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a semi Steve Irwin type TV Zoologist with a high pitched voice and tight shorts. He's completely outrageous to watch. Tilda Swinton is her glorious self and Dano and Yeun together are a treat. Giancarlo Esposito also has a small but memorable role. The real star of Okja is Ahn. Her determination, stamina, and love for friend drive the entire film. 

I loved director Joon-ho Bong's last feature, Snowpiercer. The tone of both films is completely different but they both slide in that effortless strange comedy every now and again. I'm making a point to check out more of his films.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B+

Memorable Quote: "This is a non-lethal choke hold!" - K (Steven Yeun)

19 comments:

  1. I do want to see this though I do wish it was available in theaters instead of just being exclusively on fucking Netflix. Fuck that exclusivity shit. I don't blame Pedro Almodovar for going nuts on that whole exclusivity shit.

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    1. Get Netflix man, it's worth it. lol

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    2. Are you sure? Xavier Dolan also had issues with Netflix for tampering with the aspect ratios of his films.

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    3. I love Netflix and I think a lot of the criticism from filmmakers/festival presidents is unfair. Not everyone can make it out to the movie theaters, so Netflix is a great outlet for those. I always prefer the theater but I also have a young child and getting a sitter isn't always easy. The city I live in also closed all its video stores sans Red Box so their DVD service is how I watch every single film on DVD.

      I've watched every one of Dolan's films on Netflix and the aspect ratios seem to be what he was going for (At least for Mommy when it was different) so I'm not sure what he's talking about.

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    4. It was in regards to Mommy as they did tamper with the aspect ratio in the film. I can understand where you're coming from for Netflix but I just feel that those who aren't willing to subscribe to Netflix are the ones that are feeling left out and want options of seeing it in some other way.

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  2. I enjoyed Okja but something about it didn't wow me. I did love the bits in South Korea, and all the performances (though Gyllenhaal's characters strikes me as a brilliant disaster)... maybe it was the juxtaposition of such a sad, serious theme (the food industry), with the CGI super pig running around the city and the quirky characters, idk.

    Didn't feel smooth, I guess. Can't put my finger on it!

    That said, the ending (the gold pig) was very clever.

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    1. The CGI did throw me a few times because it wasn't very good, even though I did mind that, but I can understand how the film wasn't completely smooth.

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  3. Gonna come back and read this after I watch it, hopefully this week.

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  4. Yes! Ahn is amazing in this, carries the film well

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    1. She does! I hope this opens a lot of doors for her.

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  5. Yaaas! I just love how crazy this movie gets in some parts. I don't think Jake Gyllenhaal has ever been so off-putting but in the best way. I need to see more of Joon-ho Bong's work too :)

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    1. Right? Between this and Nightcrawler Gyllenhaal is great at playing fucking repulsive dudes.

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  6. It is an odd movie, the film is tonally all over the place. I thought Jake Gyllenhaal was insufferable in this. The worst performance I have ever seen him do.

    "The real star of Okja is Ahn. Her determination, stamina, and love for friend drive the entire film."

    I agree with this. It got me over the hump of the fucking about badly with the film's tone.

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    1. I get you on the tone. It is a bit all over the place. I liked how OTT Gyllenhaal was though.

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  7. Holy shit, I need to see this.

    And I'm not even sure why!

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  8. Haha yes, definitely a fucking weird movie, but I loved it. I do hope you can see more of Joon-ho Bong's movies. He's such a talented filmmaker.

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    1. I've loved what I've seen so far so I believe it.

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