“I’m still a little resistant to the concept of a Netflix original movie. If I’m gonna see a new movie, I’d rather invest the time and effort into seeing it at the theater. That way, I know that it has my full undivided. At home, I’m distracted by cats and computers and sundry others. Besides, I usually have a stack of unwatched movie DVDs and shows piling in my Netflix queue that I can mindlessly binge. However, something drew me to Okja (okay okay, that something was likely Jake Gyllenhaal), so when I found myself with an unexpected free evening, I knew how I wanted to spend it. Okay, so I ended up passing out on the couch instead, but I woke up later and started watching the movie, and then continued it in the morning.
Okja is the name given to a genetically modified super pig, created by a big corporation with the intent of solving a world hunger crisis, who has been cared for by a farmer’s daughter named Mija in Korea. Okja and the other super pigs were meant to be raised around the world, and brought back after ten years to study the results. Except Mija isn’t exactly thrilled about having her pet taken away from her, no matter how many people Okja is expected to feed.
It’s definitely original, which we all know goes a long way with me. Sure, the storyline of being separated from a beloved animal has been done before, but the details and absurdity of this were a standout. The one advantage I will say was gained in watching this at home is that one of my beloved vampire kitties, Lestat, snuggled right up to me in bed to watch together for pretty much the whole movie. Often when I watch a movie that features animals, I’m longing to pet one of my cats, and I had one right in front of me the whole time. I don’t think she even hissed at all.
Besides the story (both the feels and the weird) the big selling point was the cast, particularly the aforementioned Jake Gyllenhaal and Tilda Swinton. We’ve seen Tilda play some strange and outlandish people before, and it’s a reason we adore her. This is another one to add to the list. But not to be outdone, Jake played a kookier character than we’ve seen from him, like Nightcrawler really went off the deep end. He was a lot of fun to see, and the two of them were practically competing to see who could chew the most scenery.
I still would have gladly seen this at the theater, but it was at least worth making the effort to see at home.
Okja – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/”