The Shape of Water

I’d been curious about The Shape of Water, but I stayed away from most information about it to keep it a surprise. Last night, I discovered I had won a pair of tickets thanks to Geeks Who Eat! I met up with some other friends who had won passes, then crossed my fingers and prayed that the film would hold up to my expectations.

I am very, very picky about the movies I see. Allen and I have a tradition as we drive home from screenings; we dissect what we saw in the car on the way home. And, for the first time this year, we left a movie screening completely devoid of a single bit of critique. Nothing about the movie stood out as superfluous. This is one of the few movies I can give a solid recommendation, especially to women, to go see. It works as a del Toro movie, it works as a romance, it works as a movie with a captivating atmosphere and story. Go see it!

Notes

  • Tone: Dark comedy, tender romance, some disquieting parts.
  • Sex: The romance is passionate and not crass. There is nudity but it’s not for shock-value.
  • Good Ending: Not a typical depressing del Toro ending.

(further review, minor spoilers)

Story

I went in blind, not knowing a lot about the story, but the pacing folded me right into it. Elisa works for a secret government organization and has a hum-drum janitorial job. Her personal life is barely fulfilling and monotonous; she has a best friend, her own place, lovely daydreams, but she’s trapped. Part of her yearns for an escape that she’s not sure she’ll ever find.

Eventually, one of the labs she cleans acquires a new “asset,” a Creature From the Black Lagoon-esque creature. Long story short, they feel a kinship and start an endearing friendship. When she realizes the officer overseeing the creature wants to dissect it, she decides to risk it all to save him with the help of her friends and a scientist.

Sexiness/Romance

A few of my friends joked about fish-dick before seeing it. The intimate scenes did not detract from how beautiful their relationship was. Elisa and the creature has a wonderful chemistry in The Shape of Water and you are genuinely happy for her and not creeped out.

Art & Design

The Shape of Water’s creature was emoted incredibly well by Doug Jones when it was injured, frightened, scary, and tender. I was completely astounded by the work on the creature design, which was meticulously executed and absolutely flawless. The world was wonderfully crafted to feel like a modern fairy-tale film. The filmography weaved in dark and unsettling moments, and kept me on the edge of my feet at times!

Conclusion

In the end, I would love to see it again just to experience the art direction, characters, nods, and incredible beautiful romance with a twist fairy-tale all over again. 5/5