When a depressed woman is burglarized, she finds a new sense of purpose by tracking down the thieves alongside her obnoxious neighbor. But they soon find themselves dangerously out of their depth against a pack of degenerate criminals.
Marilyn Faith Hickey
For 10 idyllic years, young Mija (An Seo Hyun) 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 a family-owned multinational conglomerate Mirando Corporation takes Okja for themselves and transports her to New York, where image obsessed and self-promoting CEO Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton) has big plans for Mija's dearest friend. With no particular plan but single-minded in intent, Mija sets out on a rescue mission, but her already daunting journey quickly becomes more complicated when she crosses paths with disparate groups of capitalists, demonstrators and consumers, each battling to control the fate of Okja...while all Mija wants to do is bring her friend home. Deftly blending genres, humor, poignancy and drama, Bong Joon Ho (Snowpiercer, The Host) begins with the gentlest of premises-the bond between man and animal-and ultimately creates a distinct and layered vision of the... Written by
Okja's face design was modeled after a manatee. See more »
The fall Okja takes near the beginning of the movie would be crippling or fatal to an animal the mass of the super-pig. See more »
[to camera while descending industrial stairway]
Oh, thank you! What a terrific crowd! Welcome to my inauguration! I'm Lucy, Lucy Mirando, of the Mirando Corporation. Welcome to my grandfather's old factory. Now, I know, we all know, that Grandpa Mirando was a terrible man.
We know of the atrocities he committed in this space. We know these walls are stained with the blood of fine working men. But today, I reclaim this space, to tell you a beautiful story. Now the ...
[...] See more »
The good: The animal and the kid are wonderful. Okja, the CGI character, is marvelously executed, and feels the most alive of the entire cast.
The bad: This script needed a few more passes and a harsher editor before it went into production.
The movie aims to be a sharp satire of corporate greed and gung-ho animal rights activism, but its satirical knife is dull. It has nothing perceptive or unexpected to say about any of its characters, and little wit to say it with.
Satirizing the amoral executives should be like shooting fish in a barrel, but their dialogue sounds like a 14 year old's idea of corporate-speak. Satirizing the gonzo animal rights activists should likewise yield some loving farce, but the movie is so thoroughly of their party it finds itself unable to laugh at them for long and instead meanders into hagiography.
Good satire comes with an "aha" moment, when in the midst of laughter we find ourselves face to face something surprising and uncomfortable, but so viscerally true it is undeniable. This movie does not have that. All of its shots at uncomfortable truth feel familiar, and tired. Both its thin humor and its disturbing visuals are built of tropes, not insights.
The two wonderful main characters can't save this film. Its final destination is ham-handed vegan propaganda, with neither the levity nor the surprise to make that propaganda hit home for anyone who doesn't already subscribe to it.
Which is a shame: the movie is reaching for hard truths about greed, food production, and the harm people do by forcibly imposing their moral compass on others. Somewhere in this phony script is a much better movie that actually manages to grasp those truths.
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