For the last 10 years, Mija been living peacefully in the mountainous South Korea with Okja-A creature which is half hippo and half pig, otherwise known as a ‘Super Pig.’ When Mija finds out the multimillionaire Mirando Corporation wants to harvest Okja for her meat (as well as all the other super pigs), Mija does everything in her power to rescue Okja.
Bong Joon Ho creates a wonder with an excellent ensemble of actors for the film Okja. It must be one of the best films Netflix has ever made as it’s utterly original and fresh, while challenging some of the most significant issues in the 21st century, from vegetarianism to white privilege to what money can make us become.
One thing I should say though, is this is not a film for younger audiences. As I pressed play on the remote yesterday, I was expecting a playful, family-fun film. It is not. Even I felt sick and disgusted and even scarred as the credits began to roll.
It’s definitely a film to make you think. As a meat-eater, guilt was flooding through me by the end. Of course it was exaggerated about the treatment of animals before slaughter; the fact is the conditions for many animals are still extremely cruel and inhumane. One of the last scenes was showing how they put the animals down. The man who was doing the job did it without hesitating and without remorse. I feel as if this shows the ignorance of certain people today of different wealth, types of businesses and colour.
I’ve never cried so much in a film (maybe apart from Titanic). That is because Okja shows a version of reality, which is exaggerated and true at the same time. Businesses and people who’ll do anything for money. An opposing political group who have different morals which seem ‘right’ but can become just as extreme. The harshness of battery farming and what love can make people do. The message it gives I think is so important, which is why it’s a movie that everyone needs to watch. Somehow, Bong Joon Ho creates a mesmerizing and fascinating sensation while still completely twisted and corrupt.
Originally the ending was going to be slightly different, which more people might have enjoyed. Bong Joon Ho said in an interview “That seemed too cartoonish ― I wanted to focus on Okja alone.” The ending was fitting to the story. Okja may not be the next box-office hit, but has an incredible message which is shown in such an authentic, genuine and extremely honest way that I think both teenagers and adults need to watch and understand.
Whether this dark, pessimistic fairy-tale ends happily or not is debatable. Mija does succeed in her goal which if we were asked about at the beginning, I’m sure we would all say that’s a happy ending; by the end we are all left feeling empty inside, realizing in more depth the harsh reality of life while rethinking our morals and knowing that happily ever after does not exist.