Okja is a 2017 action-adventure film directed by Bong Joon Ho. The film stars South-Korean child actress Ahn Seo-hyun and Hollywood actors Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Steven Yeun, Lily Collins and Jake Gyllenhaal. The film competed for the Palm d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and was released on Netflix on June 28, 2017.
In 2007, Lucy Mirando becomes the CEO of the Mirando Corporation, succeeding her controversial grandfather, her evil twin sister Nancy and her father. She announces that she has been breeding a new kind of superpig. Twenty-six of the best pigs will be sent to locations around the world and ten years later one will be crowned the winner.
In 2017, a girl named Mija, who lives in the countryside of South Korea with her grandfather and super pig, Okja, are visited by the Mirando Corporation spokesperson said zoologist Dr. Johnny Wilcox, who claims Okja, the best super pig and says he will take her to New York City. Mija’s grandfather takes her to visit the graves of her parents where he shows her a gold pig and explains to her, that rather than buy Okja, which is not allowed, he saved up the money for Okja and bought the solid gold pig. Extremely upset, Mija runs away to Seoul to find Okja, where she sees her being loaded onto a truck. Mija manages to chase down the truck which is eventually taken over by another truck, run by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). Through the utter mess, Mija and Okja run away causing trouble though they are eventually saved by the ALF. Recognizing that Mija is Okja’s owner, they tell her that their plan is to put a recording device in Okja’s ear and let her be recaptured by the Mirando Corporation to show how cruelly they treat their animals.
Footage of Okja and Mija running through the streets of Seoul go viral. In order to stop her, Lucy pays for Mija to come to New York to be reunited with Okja on stage. Okja is taken to the laboratory where she is forcibly bred with another super pig and bits of meat are extracted from her flesh for a taste test by a drunk Wilcox. Members of the ALF overhear the recording through the device in Okja’s ear. Jay vows to help Okja and Mija and use the recording to expose the Mirando Corporation’s animal abuse.
To me this film is great in an animal rights way and shows that all creatures are special. It also shows the power of friendship between a girl and her pet. Although this film is pretty much about animal rights and vegetarianism, it is also about love and friendship, it also shows that everyone should be treated equally, animal or not.
Ahn Seo-hyun did a great job as Mija, Tilda Swinton did well, Paul Dano was really good as usual, Lily Collins did okay and Jake Gyllenhaal was great as he almost always is.
This is a film that not just veg-heads and animal rights activists will enjoy, but animal lovers as well. Did I love this film? not exactlybut I didn’t exactly hate it either. 3/5