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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
I like to look at the casting before a film because I like to give a shout out to movies and people and I like. 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 fits the characters like a glove within the narrative.
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 have lists of finely crafted movies and television roles as long as my arm. I was very excited when I saw the names on the 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. With popcorn in hand, from the moment this begins, 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 that he does yet when I look through his list of movies, most I haven't seen. His style is always recognizable. He somewhat reminds me of H. R. Giger in that both have techniques, that when you see them, you just know.
I was somewhat afraid of the 'love story' catch-cry being passed around as I am not one for tissue inducing film. However, knowing that it's creator likes to engage in horrific and out-of-the-box thinking I was glad to see some toes dipped firmly into the story in the final acts, relieving me from some of the sugar wrapped scenes. I didn't need a Kleenex, but I did use my sleeve to brush some sort of liquid from my eye. I surprised myself in buying the love story well and truly. I especially liked the sign-language between the two. In fact, having such a well-rounded inclusion of both beautiful and ugly made me realize I need to see more than the few of his films that I have. I wanted to understand the reference to the title of the film and it being a love story and was happy to stumble across this from del Toro when speaking about it.
“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 that inspiration is somewhat taken on the Beauty and the Beast premise. 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 because 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 jerk.)
- Yes he looks the The Creature from the Black Lagoon but he also drew inspiration 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.
© 2018 Mother of Movies and Series Reviews