Okja

Netflix hit one out of the park with their new feature film, Okja. I haven’t felt this excited about the creative expressions of a film in a very long time. I keep thinking of I Heart Huckabees, even though the films aren’t even close to being similar. The artistic chances Okja takes and where it succeeds remind me of the best film making can do. Okja transports the viewer through humor, absurdity, and consciousness all wrapped up in a movie which tells the simple story of a little girl, her big pig and the lifetime love these two beings share. Filmed in South Korea and the U.S., I wanted to recommend this to my niece and nephew’s kids, but like any good creatively forward film the creators of Okja break convention and have some of the characters swear like sailors. So this is a film for “kids” who are old enough to understand the nuance of the word fuck. Directed by South Korea’s Bong Joon-ho (Snow Piercer, Mother), Okja takes the best fairy tale, animal rights activism, corporate greed, and bumbling humans everywhere mixing it up and putting it in his slow cooker until the subjects and genres blend into the most delicious cinematic experience. Outstanding cast featuring Tilda Swinton, Hee-Bong Byun, Giancarlo Esposito, Jake Gyllenhaal, Shirley Henderson, Paul Dano, Steven Yeun, Daniel Henshall, Lily Collins, Jihoon Park, Devon Bostick and introducing Seo-Hyun Ahn to American audiences as Mija. Darius Khondji’s (Amour, Se7en) gorgeous cinematography makes the crazy good animation seem all the more real. Bravo to the cast and crew. I’ve been avoiding watching the slew of factory farm documentaries out there because I knew I’d have to give up eating most meat. Okja provided a much-needed push in that direction. I want to watch more Bong Joon-ho’s films. Okja made my senses come alive. 5 out of 5 for this complex and masterful film.

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