As far as visual conceptual is concerned, Bong Joon Ho’s Okja not only flourishes, but leaps into some of the most engaging spectacles of the year so far. From the costumes to the sets, there’s always something interesting to look at. While that is happening, there is simultaneously a struggle to maintain balance in what the story wants to be. It seems a little all over the place, but is still, nonetheless, a playful take on corporate capitalism.
That being said, it’s hard not to have a good time with the movie, even when it loses its footing. Any movie that can accomplish it’s message while maintaining a fun ride makes you feel like you had a reason to tag along. The characters are fresh and wacky as hell. Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal, in particular, really go for broke and play their roles to perfection. Gyllenhall is indescribable and ingenious as Dr. Johnny Wilcox, an absurd zoologist and TV personality. South Korean actress Seo-Hyun Ahn is fantastic and emotes Mija’s mannerisms with great skill and is capable of doing some great action beats. We can’t forget anyone on the Animal Liberation Front either. That team of animal activists was a standout and easily my favourite on-screen presence.
What is Okja really about though? Yes, it’s a take on the food industry and GMOs, but it’s just as multi-layered as its characters are. Not only is Okja sweet, but it also cuts the BS and punches you in the gut to make you think about the bigger picture. It’s best to go into Okja blind though – you don’t want anyone to spoil this film for you.
Okja is a good, and almost great movie at the end of the day. It starts to lose steam as it goes along, but the film never stops from being an eye-catching experience with a real point to make at the end of the day.
Okja will be available to stream on Netflix on June 28, 2017.