TIFF 2016 Movie Review: ZOOLOGY (Russia/France/Germany 2016) ****

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2016. Go to TIFF 2016 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

zoology_.jpgZOOLOGY (Russia/France/Germany 2016) ****
Directed by Ivan I. Tverdovsky

Starring: Masha Tokareva, Natalya Pavlenkova, Aleksandr Gorchilin

Review by Gilbert Seah

My personal favourite of the festival so far, ZOOLOGY which won the Special Jury Prize at this year’s Karlovy Vary Film Festival is part comedy of errors, part social satire, and part tender love story.

The film follows Natasha (an excellent low keyed performance by Natalia Pavlenkova), a lonely middle-aged woman who still lives at home with her mother, unfolds in an ordinary, uneventful manner at first. Stuck behind a desk at the local zoo, ignored by her malicious, clucking colleagues, Natasha lives her solitary existence in withdrawn defeat.

That is, until something unexpected turns her life upside down: one day she discovers that she has grown a tail. The comedy comes from how she reacts with the tail. She tucks it in her panties and dances with it. It is hilarious how it does not bother her though rumours are going on about the town of a demon human with a tail.

The satire comes from the runarounds she is given when she gets X-Rays for her tail as well as her work at the zoo. Her love arrives unexpectedly from a hospital staff who has a tail fetish. Funny, intelligent and totally unpredictable, this surreal comedy is a total delight from start to finish.

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