It’s been a minute since I watched something that moved me in the way that Netflix’s original movie OKJA did. Before even going in depth why you should watch this movie, I would like to hand over all the awards including most horrific triggering movie of the year.
Disclaimer: there are potential spoilers in this piece – also this is purely my opinion so take it with a grain of salt if you do not feel the same way.
I watched OKJA over the weekend with my friend, and thankfully someone was there because this movie is not something you’d want to watch alone (I made that mistake with Get Out). Personally, I try my best to leave as little carbon footprint unless it’s for a better; as a person in the creative industry I hold a belief that whatever you do should answer the question of WHY you’re doing what you do. Many people forget that there’s more to life than just creating content for monetary purposes.
The team and director behind this movie definitely had their purpose of letting the nightmare of animal abuse known to the public delivered with flying colors. It was both exhilarating to watch as it was horrifying. In one particular scene (and you’d know which scene I’m talking about) had me shaken until even now, the portrayal of innocence in Okja and Mija’s relationship was complete obliterated by this scene.
I can’t imagine how the people behind this must’ve felt within the research and execution of the movie because as it’s audience it triggered an ongoing nightmare of the reality that the science behind the story was based on real life actions by corporate animal farms.
As for the characters in the movie, I can’t find the words to describe the diversity. I love that this was not in English nor was it led by a caucasian award winner. Yes, Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, and a few other known actors and actresses were a part of the cast, but how they adapted to the characters they held was more than an award winning act. Swinton’s character completely erased her real life personality – same goes with former heartthrob Gyllenhaal who’s character is a washed up media personality that seems to be going in an existential psychotic crisis.
Paul Dano and Lily Collins were additional protagonist characters that played hero to animals in the movie. I absolutely loved the choreographed anti-fight scenes.
The storyline itself is simple – then again most of the best movies are. It’s a love story of a girl and her pet super pig; however this is not a family movie.
What made this movie so impactful to me is the delivery of this story not being in a post apocalypse time but in today’s world. The fictional animal made it easier to make an emotional connection compared to the regular pig or cow; however the true point being delivered is that you can replace Okja to your common cow, pig, buffalo, etc. and you’re watching a documentary that just happened to end well for the characters leading the movie.
Was I satisfied by the ending? Yes and no. I realize it’s improper to end a meaningful movie with a sugarcoated happy ending – but to see in the prolog that Okja is merely one of thousands that was saved… it was still heartbreaking.
Should you watch this movie? 100% YESS.