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July 2, 2017
 

OKJA REVIEW

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Written by: Stephen Nepa
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(AOTN) The movie Okja delivers a solid cast and heartwarming story. The movie was released by Netflix on June 28, 2017, and competed in the main competition section at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival for the Palme d’Or. The film may not have  won the Palme d’Or award, but will win over fan’s hearts and that’s what matters.

Okja was directed by Bong Joon-ho who also directed The Host(2006) and Snowpiercer (2013). Bong Joon-ho was the perfect director for this story which he co-wrote with Welsh author Jon Ronson. Bong Joon-ho has statedthat Okja “a very shy and introverted animal. It’s a unique animal that we’ve not seen before.” Just like his statement the director did an amazing job in telling a story about Okja,  and also making the audience feel what the little girl ( Ahn Seo-hyun) felt for her friend Okja.

The story starts out in the year 2007 when Lucy Mirando becomes CEO of the Mirando Corporation, succeeding her crazy Grandfather and twin sister.  Lucy tells the world that she has been branding a special kind of super pig. Twenty-six of the best super pigs will be sent to locations all around the world, and ten years later the winner will be announced.

Ten years later we find ourselves in the South Korean countryside with a young girl named Mija, her old Granfather, and her friend the super pig Okja. We watch the friendship between Okja and Mija as they play around in the forest and live a happy life. In the back of your mind though you know something bad is bound to happen and that happens when they are visited by Mirando spokesperson and zoologist Dr. Johnny Wilcox, who declares Okja the best super pig. Due to a language barrier that is clear to viewer, but not to Mija, Dr. Wilcox tells the family that he will be taking the pig to New York so he can reward the pig.

The Grandfather distracts Mija by taking her into the forest to visit her dead parents grave site. While in the forest the Granfather tells Mija the truth of where Okja is really going. Mija freaks out and travels to Seoul to stop Okja from being taken away. While Okja is being brought to the airport to be transported to New York the convey is attacked by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF).

In all the chaos that happens while freeing Okja, ALF befriends Mija as they run around crazy on the streets of Seoul. ALF loads Okja and Mija on a truck and they tell Mija that the truth of the rescue is to put a little black box under Okja’s ear to record the wrong doing’s of the Mirando Corporation and expose them to the public. Mija tells to return her and Okja to the mountains but their translator, K, deliberately lies causing the group to believe Mija went along with their plan. They abandon her and Okja to be recaptured.

Footage of Okja and Mija running through the streets of Seoul has gone viral.  Lucy to try and control public opinion pays for Mija to come to New York to be reunited onstage with her pig. Okja is taken to a lab and is tortured by a drunken Dr. Wilcox. Mija arrives in New York and meets up with Jay one of the members of ALF. Jay tells Mija that ALF has a plan to rescue Okja and not to worry.

Mija and Okja are reunited in New York during a parade hosted by the Mirando Corporation. Okja has been drugged and not herself and looks as if she will attack Mija. More chaos ensues and ALF releasesvideo of Okja being mistreated at the lab. The public turn on Lucy and Dr. Wilcox who are in stage. More chaos ensues on the streets of New York. Nancy immediately returns to takes the Mirando Corporation back over and she is just as batty as her sister. Nancy recaptures Okja and has members of ALF arrested in a brutal fashion.

Jay and K members of ALF take Mija to a slaughterhouse where Okja is being held. Mija finds Okja just before she is about to be slaughtered and bribes crazy Nancy from killing Okja. Mija bribes Nancy with a golden pig that her Grandfather had given to her the day he revealed of what would happen to Mija. Okja and Mija are allowed to return home. Mija and Okja rescue a baby pig as they leave the slaughterhouse. In the final moments we get to see Mija, the Granfather, Okja, and the baby pig back to living the simple happy life.

Overall a great and fun film. Very heartbreaking at some points and warm. Tilda Swinton does an amazing job at playing two crazy sisters with two distinct personalities. Paul Dano does a good job as Jay the leader of ALF. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Dr. Wilcox, the performance is over the top and annoying at points, but adds more heat the the character. Steven Yeun plays K, thats right Glen from Walking Dead is in this movie and he delivers a solid performance. Ahn Seo-hyun is the bright star in this picture and her performance as Mija will leave an impression on your heart. Check out this film it will entertain you to no end.



About the Author

Stephen Nepa




 
 

 

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