Review: Okja (2017)


Korean director Bong Joon-ho directs this soul-satisfying fantasy adventure that’s as entertaining as it is relevant. Mija (Ahn Seo-hyun, a marvellous discovery) lives in the countryside with her grandfather (Byun Heebong), where she’s been raising Okja, the biggest and most developed of the many superpigs engineered by the Mirando Corporation. The idea was masterminded by CEO Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton), who now wants the pig back so she can turn it into food. Cue a heart-warming fable in which Mija runs away from home to New York – via a brilliant chase sequence in Seoul – as she does everything she can to save Okja from his fate, for their relationship is the most important to her. Along the way, she’s aided by a handful of eco-activists, Joon-ho’s way of underscoring the action with a sharp and smart takedown on capitalism similar to Snowpiercer. The tone wobbles at times as the script tries to tackle too much, but the heart of the film is crystal-clear throughout. So, too, are the visuals, with the CG elements almost seamlessly blending with the real, and stellar performances from a starry cast (Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano and Shirley Henderson also feature). Okja – released on Netflix – is scrappy in its ambitions, yet powerful, emotional, sweeping and downright exhilarating, both for the eyes and heart.


1 thought on “Review: Okja (2017)”

  1. That’s an interesting one. The fact that Tilda Swinton is in here is a big plus for me since I am a fan of hers, but it is also interesting that she plays twins – a nice pair of twins won’t hurt any film 🙂


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