The Shape of Water Reviews
From the master storyteller, Guillermo del Toro, comes 'The Shape of Water', an otherworldly fairy tale set against the backdrop of Cold War-era America circa 1962. In the hidden, high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa's life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment.
A lot of people have compared this movie to Amelie, which I haven't seen, so I was going into the film with an open mind. In the beginning, I couldn't see how this film was going to become interesting but once the mysterious creature, and Michael Shannon (Richard Strickland), came into play, I quite enjoyed it. You can't fault the movie for its originality, and brilliant performances from the whole cast but you do have to be in the right frame of mind to watch it. As usual, Guillermo del Toro pushes the visionary experience to the max, and his attention to detail is second to none but I found the whole "Beauty & The Beast" concept a bit weird, especially when they started to get a bit fruity with each other. Anyway, Sally Hawkins plays a mute called Elisa Esposito, who communicates with sign language and works as a cleaner at a secret government laboratory in Baltimore, during the Cold War. Her only friends are her workmate, Zelda (Octavia Spencer), and her gay next-door neighbour Giles (Richard Jenkins), who is a struggling advertising illustrator. When the laboratory receives a mysterious creature, which was captured in the Amazon River by Richard Strickland, who treats it brutally by repeatedly shocking it with an electric cattle prod, Elisa shows sympathy towards the creature by giving him eggs, whilst playing music. She soon realises that it's a male humanoid amphibian, and she regularly visits him in secret, teaching him sign language. Strickland convinces his superiors that they should kill the creature, to investigate his body for Americans gain but one of the scientist, Robert Hoffstetler (Michael Stuhlberg), who is really a Soviet spy called Dimitri Mosenkov, wants to keep it alive for further study. Robert is also ordered by his Soviet superiors to kill the creature, so the Russians can experiment on him but he has grown to sympathise with him because of the way that the creature has been treated whilst in captivity. Elisa hears the Americans talking about killing the creature, so she plots with Giles to release the creature into a nearby canal when it rains to give access to the ocean in several days time. During the escapade, Robert decides to help Elisa, along with Zelda who was initially against the plan. Once they get the creature back to Elisa's apartment, she keeps it alive in her bathtub, by using salt and a special substance that Robert gives her. To not look suspicious, Elisa and Zelda still go to work, even though Strickland is interrogating all of there employees but he's unable to gain any information. Elisa then becomes close with the creature and she initiates sex in her bathroom, which she fills completely up with water. Meanwhile, Strickland's superiors give him 36 hours to find the creature, and Robert is told that he will be extracted in two days time. Robert then goes to meet his handlers, with Strickland tailing him, and when Robert is surprisingly shot by his so-called comrades Strickland decides to save him, by killing the handlers. After interrogating Robert about the creature's whereabouts, Strickland kills Robert, and then he heads to Zelda's house to find out where the creature is. Her husband tells Strickland that Elisa has the creature, so he spares there life, and he goes straight to Elisa's, who has been tipped of by Zelda. Strickland finds a note which reveals the plan about escaping in the canal, so he makes his way there, and he shoots the creature and Elisa just before they are about to jump into the water. The creature manages to self-heal himself, so he kills Strickland and he jumps into the canal with Elisa, to try and save her life. Quite a touching story! The love story is strange but sweet at the same time but it's really the performances that made the movie for me. Shannon is brilliant as the villain, and Jenkins made me laugh as the innocent, gay best friend. Spencer was also top class as Elisa's close friend, along with Stuhlberg, who didn't know if he was coming or going through the whole movie. On the downside, no one seemed that shocked when they saw the mysterious creature, and you must be completely out of your mind to have sexual contact with it. I also thought that the whole finger thing with Shannon, was going to lead somewhere, and that whole "fill up the bathroom with water" thing was completely unrealistic. Anyway, I personally enjoyed the film but I don't know if I would go as far to say that it deserved the best picture Oscar this year. I did think that Three Billboards was a better film but Guillermo del Toro deserved the Best Director Oscar, mainly because of his contribution to cinema. Enjoyable!
This movie was directed by Guillermo del Toro, who also brought you Cronos in 1993, Mimic, The Devil's Backbone, Blade II, Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Pacific Rim and Crimson Peak in 2015. Coming from an artistry's background, he draws all of his movies in storyboard form before production, and I must admit, he is an amazing artist. He's also an extremely detailed director, whose work can't be fully appreciated unless you watch films a few times. I personally think that he concentrates on the look more than the storyline, especially in films like Crimson Peak and Hellboy II but I'm sure that there are people out there that will disagree with me. With movies like Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Pinocchio, Drood and Fantastic Voyage in development, he certainly has a full diary, especially after earning the Best Director Oscar this year. I can't really see a sequel to this movie, judging by the ending but anything is possible in Hollywood.
Worldwide Gross: $195millions
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Cast: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Doug Jones, Nigel Bennett, Lauren Lee Smith and David Hewlett. 7/10
The story is interesting in general but fot me the first half was a bit boring because it had many scenes or extra content that were unnecessary but then it became more exciting and it got you hooked because there has a lot of astonishing moments that you would never imagine could happen.
The movie has an extraordinary setting because they know how to set the enviroment from the 60's and it told us how society was developed and the way how they thought in that age.
The characterization of the amphibian man was mind blowing, the details, the colors, the design of his costume and the way he moves. I could see how dedicated the character was to the script and he made it look so realistic.
The movie is fascinating but it is not in my top 5. I think there are better movies of Guillermo del Toro, although it is a good option to see in your free time.
Elisa (Sally Hawkings) es una mujer solitaria huérfana que quedo muda de niña y trabaja como empleada de limpieza de un laboratorio de alta seguridad al cual ingresa una criatura anfibia y monstruosa (Doug Jones) de la cual se enamora y comienzan a establecer una relación. Todo esto ambientado en la década del 60, en medio de la guerra fría, por el que el gobierno buscara utilizar a este ser como un arma.
La historia es una fantasía en su máximo resplandor que mezcla otros géneros como el suspenso, el drama, la comedia y hasta el musical. Pero es una fantasía que rompe todos los clichés. Es una historia de amor entre una mujer común y corriente con una belleza más interior que física que se enamora de un monstruo. Una historia de amor donde el amor es el protagonista y lo inverosímil parece quedar de lado. Una historia de amor que va más allá de cualquier tipo de sexo, status e incluso de especie.
Sally Hawkins hace un papel extraordinario (lamentablemente lo tocó competir con la también extraordinaria Frances Mcdormand) donde demuestra que sin emitir palabra y solo con sus gestos se puede llevar a cabo una gran actuación y dotar de sensaciones a una película.
Poco hay para decir sobre Guillermo del Toro. El realizador ya ha confesado su fanatismo por los monstruos y una vez más queda demostrado que es el mejor creándolos y utilizándolos para hacer sus películas aún más maravillosas.
El elenco lo completan Richard Jenkins como el vecino de Elisa, también solitario y quien representa a una especie de figura paterna; Octavia Spencer como la mejor amiga de Elisa que le otorga el toque de humor justo y necesario a la historia; Michael Shannon interpreta al villano y Michael Stuhlbarg como un empleado del laboratorio.
Cant find a single reasonable idea specially it seems in the movie that its a first sight love!
It's just so refreshing, in an age where cinema is dominated by big franchise blockbusters, to see such a wonderful work of art, by a director with such a clear and unique personal style.
Hawkins (as always) is utterly captivating here. And Shannon on fine, creepy form. The Cold War thriller and Disney fairy tale don't quite gel for me. And i think the film flounders a little bit after consummation.