“For 10 idyllic years, young Mija has been caretaker and constant companion to Okja – a massive animal and an even bigger friend – at her home in the mountains of South Korea. But that changes when family-owned, multinational conglomerate Mirando Corporation takes Okja for themselves and transports her to New York, where an image-obsessed and self-promoting CEO has big plans for Mija’s dearest friend. With no particular plan but single-minded in intent, Mija sets out on a rescue mission.”
*This is a spoiler-FREE review*
So I didn’t really want to cry, but this movie was so, so emotional.
It’s a very subjective film, with certain points not shying away at all from being pushed across to the audience (about how the meat industry operates in particular). So it’s probably best to also try to put aside your own beliefs when watching this. There was a lot of emotions in this, a lot going on and just a lot of themes of animal cruelty and some graphic content.
But I liked that there was lots going happening – an evil business, devotion between best friends, animal liberation, the plot itself just pushing forward and a myriad of other things as well! It was interesting, entertaining and like I said, had a message that it wanted to get across to the audience.
It was still well balanced though, and I appreciate the approach the film took to more ‘extreme views’ of things too. Some people might call parts of the film ‘weird’ or even the story world overly-theatrical and the costumes strange for some parts but I liked it and honestly didn’t even consider it weird at all (think Wes Anderson, but toned down by 50x). And Okja is funny too! Which thank god it was because I don’t think I would’ve managed to watch the whole thing if it wasn’t… It was so heavy on animal cruelty. And there was a lot more graphic stuff than I expected in it… Even if it was all animated…
The visuals effects are great too! And the animation for the breed that Okja is is clearly somewhat based upon dogs – which just makes everything more emotional for me… Because you damn will care about this animal within 10 seconds of her being on screen. The performance by the actors too was all amazing! And bonus points for Steven Yuen.
The language barrier in the film was interesting too. I liked having Korean and English, and translators and subtitles and just watching it all! I haven’t really gotten to see any movies before where the main characters speak different languages.
This film does not bother to hide it’s message, nor did it attempt to be subtle about it at all. Yet I don’t mind at all. Okja is an engaging, interesting, emotional film about friendship, the meat industry and animal cruelty that is probably going to make your eyes at least a bit damp.