2017 ‧ Drama/Fantasy ‧ 2h 3m
Initial release: December 1, 2017 (New York City)
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Box office: 26.4 million USD
Budget: 19.4 million USD
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.
Nominations: Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama, etc
Guillermo del Toro’s, The Shape of Water is a reminder of what mainstream cinema should be, instead of the raging sex fuelled; bullet chugging, explosion crazed, capitalistic mess the cinema has become today.
The Shape of Water is a fresh breath of artistic air, we partake on this journey with Elisa(Sally Hawkins) a mute living in 1962 Baltimore, whom little does she know is in a beautifully executed rendition of Romeo and Juliet meets Free Willy.
This film in the simplest terms is about searching for completion; numerous characters in the film are challenged with idea of not being satisfied with their lives, feeling incompetent and or unfulfilled so as a result they go out on the world searching for anything that could make them whole.
Sally Hawkins first encounter with her potential solution for ‘completion’ is when she builds a peculiar bond and relationship with a fish like creation that is the first to see Hawkins as a complete being, she uses her and Octavia Spencer’s roles as cleaners to gain access to maximum security facilities in an all or nothing attempt to free the creature from its imprisonment.
Another notable performance in relation to filling the void within is that of Michael Shannon even as the villain of the film, his search for fulfillment is in the form of wanting status and prestige, the only thing standing in his way is the now missing Amphibian man(fish creature, don’t get lost).
Richard Jenkins also plays a troubled homosexual in search of completion in his work as an artist and romantically, which is something you should pay attention to because it says something in retrospect to the audience’s lives if you watch and analyze carefully.
One thing you’ll appreciate about this film is the musical score and the cinematic look of it, which was beautifully done.
Another thing you need to understand and I cannot state this more cryptically is that the story in this particular film doesn’t matter, complex personalities and exploration into human emotions and connection go beyond human experience is the goal, even in this case when interpersonal relations stray far from speech and species.
Guillermo del Toro also directed Hell boy so if you ever wonder where Abe Sapien came from this is probably the best explanation you’ll get.