Bong Joon Ho’s genetically changed satire places a skewer via the beef enterprise – at the same time as additionally shaking up the destiny of film Few months ago, BBC iPlayer launched Carnage, a sci-fi inflected satire written and directed with the aid of using Simon Amstell, set in a near-destiny international wherein a now-vegan human race struggles to return back to phrases with its meat-consuming past. Now, Korean director Bong Joon Ho’s cautionary story of genetically changed meat arrives on Netflix, with a restricted however welcome UK theatrical release.
Like Carnage, Okja makes use of the trimmings of sci-fi fable to invite uncomfortably down-to-earth questions on in which our meals comes from, exposing the savage tooth of consumerism in the back of the pleasant smile of company capitalism. In the far off mountains of South Korea, younger Mija (An Seo Hyun) has raised and bonded with Okja, certainly considered one among a batch of “super-piglets” created with the aid of using the agrichemical employer Mirando as an ability strategy to international hunger. Okja is a mild giant, bred to tread softly upon the earth – to “eat much less feed, produce much less excretions”, however (maximum importantly) to “flavor fucking good”. Yet she’s additionally smart and empathetic sufficient to carry out complicated self-sacrificing feats whilst her teenage human partner is in lethal danger. That, of course, way little to Mirando’s wall-toothed CEO Lucy (Tilda Swinton, reuniting with Bong after Snowpiercer), who retrieves her prize product to participate in a porcine splendor festival withinside the US, cause on serving her up on a plate.
Desperate to shop her friend, Mija heads to New York, crossing paths with the chaotically idealistic Animal Liberation Front, led with the aid of using Paul Dano’s Jay, who plans to apply Okja as a mole in Mirando’s hellish labs and slaughterhouses. Meanwhile, Jake Gyllenhaal’s hack TV zoologist/veterinarian Dr Johnny Wilcox (a function that Bong’s British co-writer, Jon Ronson, reportedly primarily based totally in component at the UK’s much-cherished Johnny Morris) wrestles together along with his judgment of right and wrong as the general public face of carnivorous company greed. Having proved himself a grasp of the sociopolitical creature characteristic with The Host (a record-breaking hit in South Korea), Bong all over again combines humour and horror on this cross-common splendid journey. From the anthropomorphic sentimentality of Babe to the slaughterhouse realities of Shaun Monson’s 2005 documentary Earthlings, Okja combines the holistic man-and-nature topics of a Studio Ghibli animation with the alarming meals-enterprise revelations of Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret.