Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 17th, 2017
BluRay released: November 14th, 2017, 2017 (USA) / October 30th, 2017 (UK)
Approximate running times: 91 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 15 (UK), NR (USA)
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Russian, LPCM Stereo Russian
BluRay Release: Arrow Academy USA
Region Coding: Region A,B
Retail Price: $29.95 (USA) / £19.99 (UK)
“Natasha is a middle-aged admin employee at a zoo where her female co-workers take pleasure in making fun of her. She lives with her God-fearing mother and leads a dull existence without prospects, until one day she grows a tail. Medical examinations follow where she meets Peter, a young radiologist and her dreary life is turned upside down.” – Synopsis provided by the Distributor
Though there are elements of this film, that are firmly entrenched in the realm of fantasy. It is ultimately this film’s more grounded moments where its power lies. And nowhere is this more evident, then in regards to this film’s protagonists’ metamorphosis.
This film’s narrative revolves around an introverted middle age woman named Natasha, who’s main social interactions are with the animals at the zoo where she works. And her inability to connect with other human beings is reinforced throughout this film. With her co-workers and others in her life are often cruel to her. With her connection to the animals that plays a large role in her transformation.
This film’s heart and soul is Natalya Pavlenkova performance in the role of this film’s protagonist Natasha. She delivers an extraordinary performance that perfectly captures the highs and lows of her characters journey.
From a production standpoint, there is not an area where this film does not excel and then some. The premise is well executed and key moments are given an ample amount of time to resonate. Standout moments include, the scene that reveals that the protagonist has grown a tail, a scene at a nightclub where Natasha’s joy leads to her tails being accidentally exposed and an unforgettable ending that provides an extremely satisfying coda to the events that had just unfolded.
Zoology comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The source used for this transfer is in great shape, details look sharp and there are no issues with compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Russian and a LPCM stereo mix in Russian. Both audio mixes sound, clean, clear and balanced. Range wise, both audio mixes sound robust, when they need too. Included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include, a trailer for the film (1 minute 45 seconds, in Russian with English subtitles), an interview with actor Dmitriy Groshev titled An Appointment with the Doctor (12 minutes 33 seconds, in Russian with English subtitles) and an interview with film historian Peter Hames titled The Tail of Zoology (24 minutes 39 seconds).
Topics discussed in the interview with Dmitriy Groshev include, screenwriter / director Ivan I. Tverdovskiy, his thoughts about the film, actress Natalya Pavlenkova, production related topics and audience reaction to the film.
Topics discussed in the interview with Peter Hames include, background information about Ivan I. Tverdovskiy, filmmakers that have influenced Ivan I. Tverdovskiy and his thoughts about Zoology.
Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art and a twenty-four-page booklet with cast & crew information, an essay titled Tail and Taboo written by Michael Brooke, an interview with screenwriter / director Ivan I. Tverdovskiy and information about the transfer. Overall Zoology gets a solid release from Arrow Academy.
Note: This film is also being released by Arrow Academy on DVD.