The rumors, excitement, critiques, curiosity and highlights regarding Bong Joon Ho‘s latest feature “Okja” has finally been relieved with its release on premium movie streaming service, Netflix. Okja is the name of a gentle scientifically made creature which lives at mountains of South Korea. It was originally premiered at Cannes International Film Festival and since then it received good reviews and became the talk of the town. The move to distribute this movie through Netflix raised protests and boycotts from the fans, and despite all that “Okja” still manages to shine the brightest for its heartwarming story and sci-fi touch. Mija (An Seo Hyun) has been caretaker and constant companion to Okja at her home in the mountains of South Korea. But that changes when a family-owned multinational conglomerate Mirando Corporation takes Okja for themselves 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. The corporation is constantly seeking for an alternative way to mass produce meat for human consumption without threatening the environment, and scientifically made Okja is the answer. Upon hearing this malicious plan to slaughter her friend, Mija takes an action to save her loved one assisted by Animal Liberation Front.
We already saw what Bong Joon Ho is capable of with this sci-fi genre on his Hollywood debut film “Snowpiercer”. So, we set the bar pretty high with “Okja” and the director delivers. If we are served with rather dark and rich tones of colors on “Snowpiercer”, then “Okja” uses a combination of bright bold colors to portray a vivid images of Okja’s habitat and Lucy Mirando’s obsession with fashion and self-image. He also uses dark toned colors in some scenes to match the vibe and emotion of the film. You would catch yourself cry then laugh the next seconds with this movie. The script is awesomely written and Tilda Swinton who has worked for the second time with the director seems to be the perfect actress to play this role. She handles in with such grace and her acting makes us want to curse at her villain character, that is how good she is. Other side characters like Dr. Johnny Wilcox played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Jay played by Paul Dano also tackle their roles pretty well. The only downside of this film is its cruel scenes which shows animal slaughtering. It might prompt you to stop eating meat for a while, as Bong Joon Ho himself admitted that he was vegan while doing a research for this film.
“Okja” is now showing at some selected cinemas across United States and being screened on CGV theaters at its home country, South Korea. Despite being a limited release, “Okja” manages to become the fourth most watched film at South Korea after Anarchists From Colony, Real, & Transformers: The Last Knight. This movie has successfully bring up the notion of meat industry and all of its downside. An eye opener and a stunning visual and plot as well. It deserves to be included in your must-watch list.
Reviewer: Bonifasius Eiji/Editor: Novita Widia