It will certainly fuel the fire of conversation
Okja’s main take away is that it absolutely does not seem real. There is not one element of the film that evokes reality, yet its alternate world is somehow understandable. There’s a real feeling about it that, Okay, it’s obviously not believable, but this could have easily been a path humanity took.
The film follows the Mirando corporation as they create 26 super pigs, sent out to farmers across the globe, with an aim to pick a best of the bunch in 10 years time. However, when young Korean Mija’s pig is chosen, the journey back to New York is not a smooth one as the Animal Liberation Front decide to take matters into their own hands.
Okja is a film that is absolutely aware of its audience. It knows how to tug at the heartstrings and does so evoking strong emotions, yet, its fantastical outlook is slightly too far fetched to really hit home the ideas it pushes.
It’s a beautifully imagined story with friendship and accountability set as very strong themes throughout, and the absurd characters involved are able to express these themes in a very visual and sometimes alarming way. Jake Gyllenhaal is particularly vibrant and puts in a zany performance in a fashion like he never has before. His versatility grows by each film he releases, pulling him away from the majority of type cast actors flooding cinema releases.
The animation of super pig Okja is brilliant in not only it’s design but it’s emotions. There is real fear struck into her face and the partnership with young actress Ahn Seo-hyun is astounding considering Okja is fully animated.
There are some very serious and ultimately disturbing ideas lying within Okja’s cinematic nature, but genuinely, this is a wholly unique and vibrant film that will make anyone think twice before eating meat again. I’m not sure it’s strong enough to turn the public vegetarian, but it will certainly fuel the fire of conversation.