Jake Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins, Tilda Swinton,
and Paul Dano are bringing plenty of star power to Bong Joon Ho’s film Okja. It
has something even more exciting going for it, too. The message of the movie is
as “meat is murder”, and this strong parable tells the story of a young girl
who fights for her friend who happens to be a ‘super pig’.
Okja was one of two Netflix-funded movies that screened
at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in May, and it was warmly received.
fact, it received a four-minute
standing ovation. Ahn Seo-hyun plays Mija, the
young farmgirl in South Korea who loves and cares for Okja. Jake Gyllenhaal
plays a zoologist, while Tilda Swinton is the CEO who is out to make a profit
off Okja’s life.
Paul Dano plays the leader of an animal rights
activist group, so you might guess that this movie is not subtle. Lilly Collins
is also an animal rights activist in the movie. The metaphors in Okja seem clear and yet fascinating.
Movies with strong messages can be
thought-provoking and inspire great change, yet they can still be entertaining
while doing so. Think of all the educational aspects of James Cameron’s Titanic. It has its own message, but it’s
told with such a lively story that draws the viewer in and makes you invested
in those characters. Nobody sits down to see the movie thinking they are going
to be educated, but they learn a lot anyway. The same promises to hold true for
When Swinton’s CEO character takes Okja away
from Mija, the young girl fights back. She then embarks on an adventure where
multiple people are battling for control of the ‘super pig’. Mija wants to
protect her friend so her rescue mission continues. She seems willing to do
whatever it takes to rescue Okja and stop the bad people from killing her for
One can’t help but think of recent advocates for
real-life pigs like the dads of Esther the Wonder Pig, and it can be easy to
imagine something like this happening in real life. The fact of the matter is
that it does happen every day with pigs and other animals who are considered
“farm animals”. The movie packs a powerful punch with its story and what it has
will be available for streaming on Netflix
in late June 2017. You can follow the Okja
for the latest updates on the movie. Watch the official trailer
for a glimpse at what you can expect from the touching film.