OUT 22 Septem­ber / CERT 15 / 91 MINS Di­rec­tor Ivan I. Tver­dovsky cast Natalya Pavlenkova, Dmitri Gro­shev, Irina Chip­izhenko

Empire (UK) - - ON.SCREEN - IF

ZO­OL­OGY HAS A high con­cept at its cool heart: a re­served woman, Natasha (Pavlenkova), in a small coastal town has her life turned around when she, with­out warn­ing, sprouts a tail. Tver­dovsky im­bues the po­ten­tially whim­si­cal idea with zero hu­mour, in­stead set­tling on Kafka-es­que weird­ness, so­cial re­al­ism and Cro­nen­ber­gian body hor­ror as Natasha’s ap­pendage at­tracts the at­ten­tions of a hand­some young ra­di­ol­o­gist (Gro­shev), telling a sur­pris­ing tale of a woman go­ing from re­pressed to rau­cous. If the film’s mean­ings get mud­dled in the fi­nale, it re­mains orig­i­nal, bizarre and com­pas­sion­ate to its pro­tag­o­nist’s plight, thanks largely to Natalya Pavlenkova’s un­showy, be­liev­able and af­fect­ing turn.

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