To be honest, at first I thought that this movie would have a typical storyline where the main character gets separated from his/her best friend. This happens in the movie, however, this movie is so much more than that. Okja is a masterpiece.
The movie starts with Lucy Mirando, the new CEO of Mirando corporation, telling the people about a new breed of pigs that are naturally bred. 26 piglets were then sent to different farmers around the world. There’s more though. It’s a competition, the best super pig will be awarded in New York 10 years into the future. Fast forward 10 years after, one of the piglets- Okja- is now huge super pig. We see the close bond between Okja and the girl who raised her, Mija. From all the scenes, it is obvious that they are best friends. However, Mija’s time with Okja is up. Okja is chosen as the best super pig, the winner of the competition, and will now be taken to New York. Of course, Mija will not let this happen. She follows Okja to Seoul and plans to take her back to the mountain. However, taking back Okja from a big company isn’t easy. Good for her, Animal Liberation Front helps her rescue Okja. Unfortunately, the ALF’s mission isn’t as straightforward as that. The ALF needed more from Okja to finally expose the animal abuse happening behind the environment-friendly mask of Lucy Mirando. The ALF’s mission is to install a hidden camera on Okja and send her back to Mirando Corporation.
First of all, this movie, unlike my first impression, is NOT a family movie. I don’t think kids can appreciate the message of this movie, furthermore, I don’t think that kids are ready for the truth and reality this movie aims to tell us. This movie is for those who wants to think and feel.
I believe that these movies are trying to deliver us these messages:
- It is shown here how easily we consumers can be lied to. We find out in this movie that Lucy Mirando was lying all along- the super pigs are not naturally bred but are synthesized in the lab. It is shown here that promotions can sound convincing and that these promotions can manipulate us into believing something else.
- It is also shown to us the reality behind food production. Here, we see the reality we all wishes to ignore. It showed us what we do not want to see. Because maybe, if we don’t see it, we can imagine that they don’t happen. But they do. I have to admit that the scenes in the slaughterhouse is very hard to watch. It is very hard to accept that for us to have meat, the animals have to go through that. I really teared up on the last few minutes of the film.
Because of these messages, even when they’re hard to accept and uncomfortable to watch, I loved this movie. I admired this movie’s courage. It is, however, unclear to me what the film’s take on genetically modified organisms. Okja is a GMO and Lucy Mirando lies to the world to keep this truth a secret. She also says something like it’s not her fault the consumers are afraid of GMOs. I guess we can see here the good and the bad about GMO. GMOs, on the right hands, have great potential.
On a lighter note, I really loved that Steven Yeun and Devon Bostick are here. Steven’s character as Glenn in The Walking Dead and Devon’s character as Jasper in The 100 are very complex characters. Their characters here are complex as well and they portrayed them well. That’s another strength this movie has- the complexity of the characters including the villains. I mean, Lucy Mirando, is not evil. She has good intentions for the world but not so good means of achieving it. The characters in this movie has depth, they are coming from something.
Overall, I really liked this movie and highly recommend it to adults. I really hope that this movie can be as meaningful to you as it is for me.