Netflix’s Okja Leaves Viewers Speechless


Okja is a star studded sci-fi movie that follows the adventure of Mija and her super pig lovingly named Okja. The film contains celebrities such as Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Steven Yeun, and more.


The beginning of the film introduces Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton) announcing her plan to end world hunger, non-genetically modified super pigs. In order to promote these new super pigs, she announces a decade long competition to raise the best one. One of the super pigs, Okja, is sent to Mija (Ahn Seo-Hyun) and her grandfather who live in a remote mountainside in South Korea.  As the competition comes to an end, Okja is taken away from Mija and taken back to New York. In an attempt to save Okja, Mija follows her all the way to the United States and partners with the Animal Liberation Front led by Jay (Paul Dano) in order to get her back.


Okja is an intense, emotional film that touches on many themes throughout the movie. The primary theme is the treatment of animals in large scale slaughterhouses, as well as mentioning corporate ethics, capitalism, and genetically modified food. The movie’s director, Bong Joon-Ho, is no stranger to these taboo topics and has directed other films that contain similar subject matter such as Snowpiercer and The Host.


The actors of the movie also did an exceptional job, Seo-Hyun and Swinton were standouts throughout the film. Seo-Hyun speaks Korean for the majority of the film, having only two English lines in the whole movie. She gives a convincing performance and delivers all of her lines with emotion. Swinton was given the task of playing a set of twins, Nancy and Lucy Mirando. She gives both characters their own distinct inflection and mannerisms.


The film transcends the language barrier and the emotion is beautifully developed, making it impossible not to sympathize with the CGI super pigs. Despite this, the movie does have its downsides. Okja has one too many moments where they build up extreme tension, from the first five minutes to the last. The writers also attempted to introduce comedy at times that seemed ill-timed and awkward at best.

Overall, Okja deserves a 9/10 for its story, emotion, and influence.