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
This will be the second Netflix movie co-produced by Plan B Entertainment. The first movie is War Machine (2017). See more »
There is a mistranslation on the English subtitles when K played by Steven Yeun is about to jump out of the truck. According to the subtitles, his parting words to Mija are "Mija! Try learning English. It opens new doors!" What he actually says is "Mija! Also, my name is Koo Soon-bum." It's a flagrant mistranslation - but one that would only be apparent to those who can speak both languages. Moreover, the mistranslation is a clever subversion of the supremacy of English. The subtitle is a command to learn English - something that every Korean student has heard throughout her life - but to actually understand what K is saying, you would have to know Korean. There's an added layer of comedy to the name itself, which has the whiff of the old country about it: "Koo Soon-bum" is sort of like a white man saying his name is "Buford Attaway." As Yeun said in an interview, "When he says 'Koo Soon-bum,' it's funny to you if you're Korean, because that's a dumb name. There's no way to translate that. That's like, the comedy drop-off, the chasm between countries." 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 ...
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Okja is a sort of scifi fairytale, one that is explicit with its very simple messaging but is nevertheless beautiful and heart wrenching.
Bong Joon-ho begins the film in 2007 when the CEO of a food corporation that is heavily invested with GMO's tries to revamp their corporate image by announcing a competition between 26 of their best super piglets. The super piglets are sent across the world to be raised by farmers and in ten years one lucky pig will win the title of Best Super Pig (and then apparently be consumed). Fast forward to 10 years later when a thirteen year old Mija, a country girl living in near isolation with her grandfather, is raising her super pig in the idyllic landscape where they play, forage for apples, and fish together. Things go awry however when she discovers that Okja (her pig) does not belong to her and will be carted off to America. From here on the movie turns into an adventure story as Mija must brave the world in order to be reunited with Okja.
The film is wildly cartoonish in tone, but if you go along with it and let yourself be enchanted by this world you'll find yourself on a wonderful emotional journey. Some cheap CGI made me at first scoff at Okja, but as the movie goes on she seems more and more real till by the end I was near tears watching the film. Great performances by known and unknown actors alike. Just a great movie through and through.
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