Mini Reviews #6: Okja, To The Bone and Riverdale

Okja (2017) 

Okja is a heartwarming tale about a girl and her pet, a genetically-modified super pig. But what keeps this from being your any average pet movie, is that it not only explores the pet and owner bond but tackles a lot of meaty topics as well. (Nope, I will not apologize for that pun.) It touches on meat consumption, animal cruelty, corporate greed, pageantry, and activism, among others. Sounds like an absolute chore to sit through, I know. But as loaded as this movie is, it is neither a chore nor a bore. Bong-Joon-Ho, brilliant as he is, knows how work with heavy themes by adding in plenty of light-hearted and humorous moments. It will make you laugh, cry, think, question and become terribly uncomfortable all at once. It is a brilliant and strange film. And by the way, the CGI is so detailed and seamless in execution and this makes the futuristic fictional world of Okja even more absorbing that it already it. I highly recommend this movie.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

To The Bone (2017) 

Ellen (Lily Collins) is a young woman suffering from Anorexia Nervosa who has been going in and out of various treatment centers with very little success. Her family is at their wits end, up until they signed her up to be a part of Dr. Beckham’s (Keanu Reeves) unusual method of treatment. A movie with such a contentious topic can be really tough to put on film without being assailed with issues of insensitivity and inaccuracy and glamorization. To The Bone, I think, manages to avoid all three. AIthough some parts, have that quirky rom-com feel, and Ellen’s sort of love interest is a bit of a manic pixie dream boy type. But it is by no means a glamorizing movie. I feel that it is honest, so much so that I found it quite difficult to sit through certain harrowing scenes. I had to take deep breaths and was aware of cluthing my chest one too many times. To The Bone goes dark, really hard. But it keeps us from drowning in all that pain and illness, with plenty of snappy, funny dialogue. Lily Collins is at her best in this film. I hope she gets more dramatic roles like this. Although I wasn’t quite sold about how the movie ended, but I think this is an important film that is both entertaining and eye-opening.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Riverdale Season 1 (2017

I wonder how this would have fared had it been a highschool comedy, of the Saved By The Bell type? As I was watching this show, I sometimes find myself wishing that Archie would trip over his feet, or announce how terribly broke he is. But I get it. I get why they made Riverdale a tad different from the Riverdale of my era. A bubblegum-y highschool comedy re-imagining of Archie comics would not fly, not with the millenials, I don’t think.

Riverdale is part murder mystery, part highschool drama. And yeah, I had a lot of fun watching the first season. It is by all accounts a true blue CW show. Melodramatic and full of hot people. Most of the adults are terrible human beings, conniving, lying, cheating, murderous, ignorant and incompetent. And the young uns almost always save the day.  And the plot can be quite all over the place. But the drama is just so deliciously over the top, I couldn’t stay away! Plus, hot people!

Rating: 3/5 Stars


Have you seen any of these films? Also Netflix movie recommendations are more than welcome!

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