Ivan I. Tverdovskiy (director)
29 September 2017 (released)
05 October 2017
A woman in her mid-50s growing a tail may sound odd and fantastical, and one could even look at the surface and suggest that a movie based on this is going to descend into the realms of fantasy. Zoology, though, is anything but. It is as serious a movie as it could get, and despite being based on a notion that is quite improbable, it is actually a film about everyday human emotions.
Natasha (Natalya Pavlenkova) is a middle-aged zoo worker in Russia who leads a humdrum life and is the butt of crude and cruel jokes of her colleagues. One day she faints at work with lower back pains, and visit to the doctor reveals that she is growing a tail. It is not explained in the film just how she could have sprouted a tail, but it does not affect the narration in the slightest.
As the film progresses, Natasha develops a romantic relationship with radiologist Peter (Dmitriy Groshev), who is handsome and younger than her. Peter is not taking aback by a tail that no one in the medical profession is able to explain; instead, he seems to be down to it, as one particular scene towards the end of the film suggests.
Zoology is not steeped in scientific logic, but the film never tries to find it. In fact, the movie almost unashamedly does not make any attempt to decipher why Natasha has grown a tail. Instead, it focuses solely on the psychological and emotional changes the female protagonist undergoes and how life and people around her perceive her. This is not a modern fairytale, but a story about coping with whatever life throws at you.