Movie Review: Okja


Alejandro Vidal, Staff Writer

“Okja” evokes a strong feeling of revelation in the viewer. Director Bong Joon-Ho’s “Okja,” stars Seo-Hyun Ahn as Mija, Jake Gyllenhaal as Johnny Wilcox and Tilda Swinton as Lucy. It is a story of a South Korean girl who protects her best friend Okja, a genetically mutated animal that she has known since the age of four, against a powerful and wealthy corporation known as Mirando. While there are some familiar faces in which the viewer may recognize such as Giancarlo Esposito, who previously portrayed the character known as Gustavo Fring in “Breaking Bad” and Steven Yeun, who portrays Glenn Rhee in “The Walking Dead,” this Netflix original contains an incredible cast in this adventurous sci fi movie.

The film’s actors display their ability portraying characters in a powerful and impressive manner, with some scenes spoken in Korean. I felt a genuine connection between the two characters because of the way both showed true emotion towards their characters. Seo-Hyun Ahn’s performance in this movie does not disappoint, and it demonstrates how good of an actress she is at such a young age.

Just like the acting is important in this movie, the art direction is another reason why this movie stands out. Each location had their own significance towards the plot of this movie and although it may be unnoticeable at first, it shows later in the film For instance, New York traces back to the plot where she is protecting Okja from the Mirando corporation by any means necessary.

The director of this movie, Bong Joon-Ho, perfectly displays the nature of the different locations. Whether it is an underground mall in South Korea or a parade in New York, the director does not leave out the importance of nature and how its role on this movie is pivotal throughout each scene.

Although it started off slow, the progression of the movie rises and transitions the viewer to enjoy the escapism of “Okja.”