Name: Shape of Water
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Writer: Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
Actor(s): Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins
Elisa is a mute, isolated woman who works as a cleaning lady in a hidden, high-security government laboratory in 1962 Baltimore. Her life changes forever when she discovers the lab’s classified secret — a mysterious, scaled creature from South America that lives in a water tank. As Elisa develops a unique bond with her new friend, she soon learns that its fate and very survival lies in the hands of a hostile government agent and a marine biologist.
Guillermo del Toro is the king of bizzare cinema and I was expecting anything less of Shape of Water. I was enchanted throughout my whole viewing.
Visually it’s stunning. It’s almost looks like a fairy tale. Their location (specifically Elisa’s and Giles apartment) is out of this world, my idea of romance, and speaking of romance…
Romance was the main genre for me in this film. Of course it has many genres, that’s the beauty of this film. We have fantasy, drama, romance, and we also have a musical number! With this film it’ll on depend on the viewer and how they view the film. Each person I know who’ve seen it have placed it under a different genre each time, while some of my film buff friends refuse to give it a genre at all. That’s the amazing thing about this film, it’s an open book for you to view/ construct an opinion however you please.
The acting is superb and for someone who had no lines Sally Hawkins stole the whole goddamn film along with Octavia Spencer who wowed as Zelda. I think we can all safely say that 2018 is Octavia’s year. The amazing actress is picking all the best films and is becoming a household name! Michael Shannon killed it as out villain!! I hated him. His character absolutely disgusted me in every which way. What a foul foul creature he was. Brilliant acting. Doug Jones always delivers whatever character he’s given. He’s worked with Guillermo del Toro before in Pan’s Labyrinth so I’m not surprised he was asked again to play Amphibian Man.
Politics also played a major role in the film. Racism and homophobia were touched upon and I’m glad they did. I understand this is a fantasy but you cannot pretend that these events and behaviour didn’t happen, and with the climate the way it is, it’s more important now than ever to be reminded of these events and to never repeat them.
I also enjoyed the pace of the film too. Sometimes it can be too slow or too intense but this, this was done nicely. There was time to get amped up and also you had time to calm down before the next scene.
My favourite thing about the entire film was the music. It was absolutely beautiful and set the tone for the entire film. The Parisienne-esque melodies made it even more romantic than it weirdly was.
If you’ve never seen a Guillermo del Toro film then this might be a tiny bit out of your comfort zone, but it’ll leave you wanting more. Once you’ve seen one of his films you’ll want to see them all. It’s a crime for it to have taken this long for him to be this widely acknowledged.