Following on from his acclaimed Snowpiercer (2014), Bong Joon-ho’s Okjais another ecological message wrapped up in visually striking sci-fi with a talented cast. Only, this time, it’s telling a smaller and sweeter story about a girl and her animal best friend. Co-written by Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare at Goats) and Bong, Okja has a familiar oddness we’ve come to be expect from both men, as they continue to push artistic boundaries to make their points.
Competing for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival to much controversy (due to Netflix distributing it on their service, bypassing a normal theatrical release), Okja was nevertheless given a standing ovation by the end credits.
Okja is set in an alternate universe, where the Mirando Corporation, led by villainous CEO Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton), have created a new animal that will provide more meat for the world’s growing population with a reduced carbon footprint. That beasts are adorably-named ‘super pigs’ (pig-hippo hybrids with shades of The Never-Ending Story’s Falcor), and as part of a PR stunt 26 of them are sent to farmers around the world before a global competition in 10 year’s time to find the ‘best in show’.
Read the rest of my OKJA review at FrameRated
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
Netflix allows Okja to push the boundaries, creating a beautiful story with a painful moral that will take your breath away.