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Fantasia 2021: “Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story”

© netflix, rocketsheep, spring films

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Telenovelas, the same as soap operas, are very popular across the globe. As someone who grew up watching them, it intrigued me to see what the Philippines’ animated version of the telenovela, “Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story”, has to offer. It has been told, perhaps, in the most unique way.

From creative writers Manny Angeles and Paulle Olivenza and director Avid Liongoren, “Hayop Ka!” is made up of the same ingredients that soap operas are made of: drama, love triangle, unexpected pregnancy, betrayal, redemption and newfound love. All that occurs between the two social classes – rich and poor. One is fascinated by beauty, another one just by the availability of opportunities that wealth and power brings.

Nimfa lives with her boyfriend, Roger, who does not seem to do much in his life. Nimfa is the one who pays rent and supports their fragile relationship. Roger, however, is in love with Nimfa and wants to marry her. The woman, on the other hand, has tied the knot with the dream of bigger love, money and telenovela. When she meets the young and handsome Inigo Villanueva, the woman falls for him immediately. The man realizes Nimfa is attracted to him and makes the first move. The two get together. But that union will burn many bridges, and one of them is their previous life that will no longer be the same.

Raw, funny and imaginative, “Hayop Ka!” is an adult animated film made with taste. It is stylish and funny, smart and silly at the same time. A predictable concept is expected yet it still manages to deliver the high quality of telenovela with a fascinating and mind-blowing narrative within a short amount of time. Who knew that a hundred episodes of a storyline could be told in under an hour and a half?

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