by Sean Nelson
Okja is an action adventure film set in both South Korea and New York, directed by Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Snowpiercer) and starring Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano and newcomer to western audiences, Ahn Seo-hyun. It’s also a Netflix exclusive, and has no cinematic release but it could have been if it wanted to, it’s not lacking budget and talent.
The story can be summed up pretty easily, a meat manufacturing company has a new animal which can help with the shortage of meat that seems to be looming in this reality. It gives ten out, one per farmer in different parts of the world then gives those farmers ten years to raise the best “super-pig”. Okja is the South Korean super-pig and when those ten years are up it’s up to the farmer’s granddaughter and some animal rights activists to save him. It’s got a few more twists and turns than that, but that’s the gist.
This is a fine movie, it’s paced well and has a message against factory farming. The cast is great and no one phones it in because it’s not a theatrical movie, it seems to be that everyone involved knows that this may be a future option for film. That being said, I couldn’t recommend this to children under 13 due to the dark subject matter it turns into, especially by the third act. While realistic to what we do to animals in the real world, it can be brutal or alarming to someone younger and though it feels like its marketed more like a children’s film it’s not.
Netflix has slowly been shying away from buying movies and television shows to add to their service for a few years now, and instead has been focusing on their own brand of movies and television shows.
This practice is starting to speed up and the quality of the content has increased alongside it. It’s interesting to see how this will shake up the movie industry and with competition always being healthy I can only see how it would benefit us, the consumers. If Okja is any indication of the quality Netflix is going for in its big movie releases then we should have plenty to look forward to. Bright, directed by David Ayer and starring Will Smith will come out later this year and will be the biggest Netflix film to date so get ready it.