A dog on the verge of death gives us a rewind of her life in this animated film from celebrated director Anca Damian.
A mixed breed of Doco Argentianian and Pekingese, Marona has lived quite an interesting life. From meeting her dad in 12 minutes to being forced on the street by her father’s owner, Marona has met some interesting characters along the way. Her first owner after being lost on the streets is acrobat Manole, who at first mistakes her as a boy. When Manole discovers she’s a female dog, he names her Ana and takes her to the streets, where he performs for money.
However, when business goes bad due to Ana’s presence, she feels bad and decides to leave him. Then, she meets Istvan, a burly man who calls her Sara and has her act as a guard dog. However, the two formed a very good bond that finds itself tarnished by the presence of Istvan’s eccentric girlfriend. She leaves while Istvan leaves again and soon finds an owner who is willing to keep her safe for the rest of her life: a young girl named Solange.
A beautifully animated film that is reminiscent of the legendary artwork of Pablo Picasso, Anca Damian’s film is similar to the hit film A Dog’s Purpose. However, in the case of our lead character Marona, the opening shows her already on her last breath. The film is a complete flashback of Marona’s life from beginning to end, and the human interactions she makes along the way. Some are very nice, some very weird.
Manole, the acrobat who picks up the dog after being basically tossed out by her father’s owner, is quite an interesting character. Not only because he constantly mistakes the dog as a boy dog and when he does acknowledge finally that the dog is a girl, he still manages to call her “my boy”. He is an acrobat, but can be seen as also a contortionist of sorts as even the stripes of his suit comes off is an eccentric sort of manner and the way he goes to his apartment includes slithering like a snake.
Istvan, a blue burly man who possibly may be a courier, thinks of the dog at first as a guard dog. However, it is with Istvan that Marona feels safe and their bond is done very well. It is as if they are inseparable until she gets sick and it is his girlfriend who suggests going to the vet. The girlfriend is very eccentric and strange. She moves around similar to Koro-Sensei from the hit manga/anime/film Assassination Classroom, especially when she is kissing Istvan.
Then comes Solange, the young girl who picks her up and at first is berated by her mother, but there is an underlying plan involving getting her grandfather to agree. Some of the antics do get funny, but there is one really bittersweet moment that almost ends up badly not for the dog, but for another character. You can tell that Marona stays with Solange because we see her age into a teenager compared to her days as young girl with a bandage over her eye with glasses to wearing contacts and sporting long blue hair compared to her bob cut blonde hair.
Marona’s Fantastic Tale lives up to its name as it is A Dog’s Purpose done as a Picasso-style movie. It is beautiful, heartwarming, and bittersweet and a loving journey for a dog who felt temporary happiness only to eventually find her true passion and love.
WFG RATING: A+
An Aparte Film in association with Minds Meet and Sacrebleu Productions. Director: Anca Damian. Producers: Anca Damian, Ron Dyens, and Tomas Leyers. Writers: Anca Damian and Anghel Damian. Editing: Boubkar Banzabat.
Voice Cast: Lizzie Brochere, Bruno Salomone, Thierry Hancisse, Nathalie Boutefeu, Shirelle Mai-Yvart, Maria Schmitt.
If you’re in the Orlando area, you can see this film on August 16th at 10:00am at the Enzian Theater (1300 South Orlando Avenue, Maitland FL 32751). For more information on this and other selections at the Florida Film Festival, go to https://www.floridafilmfestival.com/