The Shape of Water (2018) Review
Water takes the shape of whatever is holding it at the time and although water can be so gentle, it's also the most powerful and malleable force in the universe. That's also love, isn't it? It doesn’t matter what shape we put love into, it becomes that, whether it’s man, woman or creature.— Guillermo del Toro
Quick Film Info
Written, produced and directed: Guillermo del Toro.
Screen Play: Vanessa Taylor.
Music by: Alexandre Desplat.
Starring: Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins and Michael Stuhlbarg.
The Shape of Water— Trailer
My Thoughts on the Film
As far as casting goes, the performances in this caused the things that annoyed me to be hastily cast aside. This movie could have included more dancing or sugar-coated moments and still survived my wrath. Each actor and actress fit the characters like a glove.
I especially enjoyed Fleming (Michael Shannon) who seemed to explode on the screen with a familiar face almost unrecognizable due to some brilliantly styled hair. Doug Jones, who plays the lead amphibian, has worked with del Toro before and others like John Kapelos list finely crafted movies and television roles as long as my arm. It was very exciting to see such high calibre names on a bill.
I know del Toro is known for rich and lustrous visual candy. So I decided to sneak out to the cinema to see this because I just couldn't wait and it sounded like a big screen event. With popcorn in hand, there is no mistake his stamp is firmly on this film. I later read he honed the script to the actors, and each character personally selected by him to suit his characters. The perfection made sense.
Guillermo del Toro's reputation precedes him in everything he does. His style irrespectively is recognizable. He somewhat reminds me of H. R. Giger in that both have techniques, that when you see them, you just know.
There was a catch cry for this film and it made me somewhat hesitant. Love stories are not my thing. I am not one for tissue inducing film as I am the horror queen. However, knowing that it's creator likes to engage in horrific and out-of-the-box thinking I was glad to see some darkened toes dipped firmly in the final acts. It relieved me from some of the sugar wrapped scenes seen earlier. I didn't need a Kleenex, but I did use my sleeve to brush some sort of liquid from my eye. It was surprising to find I bought the love story as extraordinary as it was. I especially liked the sign-language between the two. Having such well-rounded inclusions of both beautiful and ugly made me realize I need to see more of Del Toro's films.
I wanted to understand the title of the film and was happy to stumble across this quote from del Toro when speaking about The Shape of Water being a love story.
“Water takes the shape of whatever is holding it at the time and although water can be so gentle, it's also the most powerful and malleable force in the universe. That's also love, isn't it? It doesn’t matter what shape we put love into, it becomes that, whether it’s man, woman or creature.”
I could keep talking about this forever, but I will just say, it is definitely one to watch.
I give The Shape of Water 4.5 egg eating lizards out of 5.
Spoiler Section— Beware the Spoilery Spoilers
As much as I adored this film, there were a few small details that bothered me. Not enough to end my enjoyment but enough to make me smile to myself.
- Placing a towel at the foot of the bathroom door is not enough to allow said room to then be filled with water. That building was so old, water leaked through the floors and into the cinema below. I may have preferred her to somehow slip into his pool at the lab for a dip. I anticipated a splashy romp on the wet floor, not a full submersion underwater. It was lovely though.
- I read some inspiration came from Beauty and the Beast. I had always wondered whether Beauty banged the Beast and now I can probably imagine it. Thanks for that.
- I started to think that maybe the reason Elisa didn't have many friends was that she is a bit of a jerk at times. Seriously girl, get your stuff together and turn up for work on time. No one likes a cutter in the line. There is a name for them (mainly the name is a jerk.)
- Yes, he looks The Creature from the Black Lagoon but inspiration also came from Pacific Rim. It's still an awesome looking monster in any case. I liked it, at least he didn't glimmer in the light. Although, he did glow, doesn’t count— still better.
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