Finally, one of the reasons why Cannes had so much shit against Netflix the latest festival finally arrives on the streaming service. If you don’t know what happened, you don’t honestly need to. It is a stupid controversy that will lead nowhere and it will favor Netflix only. This article is here only to review Okja.
Disregarding the controversy, which could make this movie the ‘leader’ of a new model of distribution, Okja is one of the best movies of the year.
Okja, which is the name of the female super-pig our protagonist tries to save, is a sci-fi, drama, adventure, horror, and comedy all at the same time.
Directed by the very talented Bong Joon-ho, who we already appreciated with the dystopian sci-fi flick Snowpiercer (which you should watch), this film is taking on the meat production process, focusing on the United States (obviously). So, once again, the director builds up a tale to critique our world, this time in a more realistic way than Snwopiercer (which was a full-fledged satire).
The greatest thing about Okja is the way this tale unfolds, taking on multiple genres to show us the world of meat processing.
The imagery is very brilliant, sweet, kiddish and fun when everything is ok or is about to be ok. When things go south, the content gets more mature and disturbing, in contrast to the kiddish imagery (but I mean REALLY disturbing). In this sense, as you’ve seen, is pretty simple, even though I would not define this movie as for kids (in fact it was rated TV-MA in the US).
Even the dialogue, whether is in English or Korean, is simple, yet you don’t have the feeling for a moment to watch something that doesn’t know what it’s talking about.
The real satire in the movie is represented by Jake Gyllenhaal’s Johnny Wilcox and Tilda Swinton’s double role as the Mirando twins (Lucy and Nancy). The twins are the heirs of the Mirando, the food company that created Okja, and even if we watch Lucy for most of the time (95% of the movie), both of them are depicted as ruthless CEO bitches – so very similar to the stereotypical view common people have of this type of roles. Johnny Wilcox instead is the over-the-top TV personality, self-called animal lover, who will reveal himself as literally full of shit. All three characters are perfectly played, and I would not be surprised to see Oscar nominations around these roles. Of course, probably not gonna happen, because of Netflix.
Generally speaking, all actors are great. From Paul Dano to our little protagonist An Seo Hyun. The casting was incredible, which is not a new thing given what we previously saw from this director.
As you can see, the movie is so good there’s not much to talk about, as there are no real flaws. Bong Joon-ho perfectly crafted this tale, full of life, with everything on point.
If any, we should discuss the message.
Meat processing is one of the worst things you could ever see with your own eyes. It is soulless and it really looks like hell. That never made me vegetarian or vegan (the vegan character in this movie is hilarious and kinda calls bullshit on them), because I firmly believe we are omnivores, but I’m not crazy to say it’s ok to see these animals being treated like shit. And this is where the movie aims to: there’s nothing wrong with eating meat, the problem is how that meat is done.
Of course, we should get into much more detailed to explore why this method is approached (and fast foods has something to do with this), but it still cannot be ignored.