[Fantasia 2021] Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story

19 Aug

Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story' trailer dropsFantasia Film Festival 2021
Available to Stream On Demand

Tickets can be purchased here

All Nimfa Dimaano (Angelica Panganiban) needs is love, but it’ll come at a price if the colourful, animated feature film Hayop Ka! is any sign. In English, this Filipino word means, “You Animal!” And it’s not meant to be kind. Here, this feline works as a salesperson and when she sells Iñigo Villanueva (Sam Milby), a wealthy entrepreneur, the wrong perfume. He tracks her down instead of going to the store and the problems that erupt between him, her boyfriend and her defines much of the tale.

Her beau, Roger (Robin Padilla) is jealous. He thinks she’s cheating on him and to make matters worse, he’s willing to go to extremes to win her back. We’re dealing with an anthropomorphic take on Fliipino culture and here, the main protagonist is flirting with two huge canines. Roger is of mongrel descent and Iñigo is a husky. 

This film is a look at the life of a woman trying to survive in that dog-eat-dog world. This take on Zootopia is nothing like the Disney work. We’re not dealing with who are the dominant species. The points brought up in this film and the cultural nuances are meant for Filipinos to laugh at, but for foreigners, those moments will fly past their heads. What’s offered is a glimpse at the life in modern day Philippines. It’s a developing country with a mix of problems. Economically and socially, everyone is just trying to survive.

I was attracted to this work for its style. It’s visually unique with the character designs. It’s unlike many other types of comic book style art, and it’s important to point out this movie is not for-kids because of its adult content. I’m sure a joke is on how Nimpha is no nymph, either. Instead, the story’s ending about her independence comes too late. Had this point been  brought up better in the intro, I’d appreciate her outcome more. 

3 Stars out of 5

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