TV & Movies

Netflix Sunday Time Dumps: The Netflix Original Okja

Netflix Sunday Time Dumps

Welcome again, my fellow dumpers, to yet another Sunday of streaming. This week’s time dump is one I’ve been waiting weeks to spotlight, so let’s dive right in.

Last week we checked out Last Knights. This week’s Netflix Sunday Time Dump is the Netflix Original Okja.

Okja Netflix

Right off the bat. let me say there’s something extremely tender about this movie, as bizarre and almost abhorrent as the titular creature Okja can be.

Ahn Seo-hyun is nothing short of a natural revelation, though anyone familiar with the actress should know to expect nothing less. And that’s saying nothing of the other cast members, especially the stable of Korean actors that have inhabited Bong Joon Ho’s movies for decades now.

The American side of the actor spectrum are also great — again, not much of a surprise for a Ho film these days, especially coming off the brutal and polarizing train epic Snowpiercer (which, like Okja, stars Tilda Swinton as a peculiar mouthpiece). Jake Gyllenhaal, in particular, brings just the right amount of his gangly oddity acting style.

Okja Netflix

Okja herself is a feat of CGI proficiency. She exemplifies — much like the creature in Ho’s film The Host — exactly how CGI creature creation should be done: flourishing when flooded in natural light, inhabiting the world as a believable real-life entity.

At its core, Okja is a human-loves-animal, animal-is-taken-away, human-seeks-to-be-reunited-with-animal love story. It’s Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior without the brutal ass-kicking and face-kneeing. But it’s also more than that. The devil in the details with top-notch performances and the adept filmmaking style of Ho.

Okja is another film in a growing line of Netflix originals that comes out of smart partnerships between the streaming company and an increasingly impressive roster of actors and directors. This is something I hope continues for a long time to come.

You can check out the trailer for Okja below.

To honor the director of this week’s spotlighted time dump, the prolific Bong Joon Ho — considered by many to be one of the greatest directors of his generation, and who I would argue is hands-down the greatest Korean director out there — I also recommend checking out some of his other films. Many of them are available on Netflix.

The Host

The original creature feature from Bong Joon Ho, starring  the brilliant Kang-ho Song and Doona Bae, The Host is a fantastic monster movie. It also encompasses the perfect amount of satire, humor, and political commentary. If you love Okja, The Host is a must-watch.

Barking Dogs Never Bite

Barking Dogs Never Bite is a quirky whodunnit-but-we-already-know-so-watch-as-they-cover-their-tracks kind of film. An absurd, noir-style crime and murder caper, this one is filled with sharp humor and biting satire.

Mother

I try to keep my lists at a manageable length, but in the case of director Bong Joon Ho, that is a difficult task. Especially considering Netflix has at least half of his notable catalog, though it’s missing my all-time personal favorite Memories of Murder (you’ll have to track that one down yourself; it isn’t hard to find).

As a stand-in — if by tone only — there is the brilliant, haunting, heartbreaking, brutal Mother. The opening sequence alone gives me goosebumps. And the score — good Lord, the score.

Enjoy your time dumping, and I look forward to seeing you come back around next week.