Okja Almost Had A Very Different Ending

Posted 2017/07/08 0 0

Bong Joon-ho, the movie director, originally considered a more optimistic ending.


*Spoiler Alert!

In the final version of the film, Mija manages to save the titular beast from the Mirando Corporation, but the rest of the animals ultimately find themselves led to a mass slaughter. However, it wasn’t always going to be that way. Bong Joon-ho, the visionary Korean filmmaker whose credits also include “Snowpiercer” and “The Host,” originally considered a more optimistic ending.

In Bong’s first conceptualization of “Okja,” thousands of Animal Liberation Front members in North America banded together to “infiltrate” the New Jersey meat-processing plant where super-pigs are mere cattle to be prodded and liquidated. Together, the ALF would have “liberated every single super-pig,” Bong told HuffPost in a recent interview.

In the end, there were two main reasons why Bong Joon-ho opted out of this ending. First, he wanted to keep the focus of the film's narrative specifically on Okja, and expanding to such a big finale would've betrayed that narrative. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, he also felt that it would've been "too cartoonish" to have a master plan like that go off without a hitch.

The ending isn’t so much a question, but a display of Bong’s great assertive genius: He gives viewers the sweet ending that they want, but makes them swallow some real bitter medicine. Moreover, Okja's ending seems to show a pattern of "realistic" endings for Bong Joon-ho's more outlandish projects. Specifically, his 2014 sci-fi thriller Snowpiercer similarly ends on an incredibly dark note, but one that is not entirely devoid of hope in the grand scheme of things.

On the film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, Okja has an approval rating of 85% based on 151 reviews, with a weighted average of 7.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Okja sees Bong Joon-ho continuing to create defiantly eclectic entertainment, and still hitting more than enough of his narrative targets in the midst of a tricky tonal juggling act." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 76 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".