Okja

6/10 One thing I love about director Bong Joon Ho is that his films never repeat themselves. He will go from a murder mystery to a monster movie to an adaptation of a futuristic graphic novel. In changing things up yet again, he brings us what is essentially a buddy film between a girl and her pet pig. This pig just so happens to be a genetically engineered, gigantic one that an evil corporation pretending to care about the environment has created in a lab. The premise is simultaneously strange and straight forward, which I enjoyed. The real heart of the film is in our main protagonist, Mija and the pig, Okja, and their loving relationship for each other. Their friendship gets threatened and tested but what they are willing to do for each other is very sweet and heartwarming, which I was not expecting. The film deals with themes of environmentalism, eco-terrorists, giant corporations, consumerism, big tech, biological engineering, the media, etc. There are some moral grey areas in this film and those aspects and ideas work fairly well. Most of the actors do a great job and although Jake Gyllenhaal is one of the finest actors working today, his over the top character in the film was a bit too much for me and didn’t seem like a real person in comparison to the other characters. Due to there being so many themes tackled in this, the film becomes a little unfocused and jumps around a bit too much. There are also some attempts at childish potty humor that don’t work at all. You have to suspend your disbelief since the plot, while somewhat original, would definitely never happen in real life. There are some convenient circumstances and moments in the film that you can’t think too hard about because you will realize how the logic starts to unravel a bit. Some of Joon Ho’s other films that had more focus were more successful in blending heart and action, like “The Host”. The visual effects look really good, the score is well done and Tilda Swinton continues to knock it out of the park. Since this film is a little on the weird side, I am thankful for Netflix making this since your average Hollywood studio would not take a chance on this kind of film. Overall, the film is worth a watch on Netflix if your expectations are kept in check but don’t expect to be as attached to this film as Mija and Okja are to each other.

#PigocraticOathDoNoFarm / #MusicByPiggieSmalls / #MirandoVArizona / #GMOPiercer / #MeatAndGreet / #TheBudgetBrokeThePiggyBank

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