Okja 2017 Movie Scene Seo-hyun Ahn as Mija and her giant pig

Okja [2017]

Behind this rather cryptic title, Okja hides a heartwarming fairy tale for adults with a healthy dose of reality. It’s coming to us from Bong Joon Ho, a versatile South Korean director who almost ten years earlier surprised the film world with his neo-noir murder mystery Memories of Murder. Since then he has directed several movies that all feel very different. The Host was a creature feature while Snowpiercer was a post-apocalyptic allegory for our current society. Bong Joon Ho blends all of these themes here into one potent mixture. We will be following a young girl who befriends a genetically altered and huge super pig. 

And then the greedy CEOs and corporations start causing problems. As they inevitably do. You could say that the main theme of Okja of how to solve world hunger. But the answer to that question took a backseat to an emotional connection between a young girl and this cuddly huge pig. And just to make something clear right away, Okja is not a creature feature. It’s not a movie about a giant pig that goes on a murderous rampage. For that type of entertainment, you will have to travel a bit further down, to the land down under. The two movies I recommend you check out are Razorback and Boar

Moving on, Okja is just the right amount quirky without coming off as pretentious or “trendy”. It also features a hefty budget of $50 million resulting in excellent production values. I especially liked the CGI and the design of the super pig Okja. I would say it’s like a giant hippopotamus, cuddly and cute but also dangerous because of its size. Now, the pacing is a bit sluggish but also immersive and atmospheric. So, just be ready for it and the running time of two hours and you should be fun. After all, the movie is so worth it. It explores several different issues poignantly and leaves you feeling somewhat hopeful for the future.

It is the year of our lord Tyrell 2007 and the world is getting hungrier and hungrier. To combat this problem, the benevolent Mirando Corporation gives 26 experimental super pigs to 26 farmers accros the globe. Each of them needs to take care of their gifts and after ten years, only one will be proclaimed as the best super pig. One of those taking care of one of those pigs is Mija, a young South Korean girl who fears that her pig, Okja will be crowned as the best. She knows this will only cause trouble and she’s willing to do something about that.

Seo-hyun Ahn who plays Mija gave one hell of a performance in this movie. Apart from her we also have Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Paul Dano. As someone who has been eating meat all his life, I have no problem with how Okja portrayed the livestock industry. I know that things are much worse in reality and this is something we will have to deal with. I say that because the movie received a lot of backlash for its indictment of not just the meat industry but also the corporate world. It would appear that people can’t wait to live in the beautiful world of the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. After all, they’re building better worlds.

Okja is not a perfect movie nor a masterpiece like Bong Joon Ho’s next movie, Parasite. However, it is a fun movie both kids and adults can enjoy. It could potentially help the younger generation recognize the problems we’re having now and point them in the right direction. So, more than 20 years after the 1995 hit Babe, we finally got another heartwarming movie starring a pig. I hope this trend continues because I love pigs.

Director: Bong Joon Ho

Writers: Bong Joon Ho, Jon Ronson

Cast: Seo-hyun Ahn, Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Jake Gyllenhaal, Giancarlo Esposito, Lee Jeong-eun

Fun Facts: Mija is seen feeding her giant pig Okja some strange fruit. That fruit is persimmons.


IMDb Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3967856/

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