Brittany Runs a Marathon
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
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The movie has a name that does not seem to make any sense, how can water have a shape if it takes up any shape depending on a solid it is in? Then it made me think, maybe the idea was to confuse the audience. Love is confusing and it may be of any shape or form. This fairytale is, of course, much deeper than I thought. The name itself actually references the theory of Forms by a philosopher, Plato. Making it harder to understand at the same time as it's supposed to help us work out the purpose of the film. Making it more clever and beautiful. The theory is a bit complex to fully understand but it says that Forms are not in the physical world. Objects that are seen are not real, they are perceived directly and only are the shadows of real things. A Form is something that is real and more important.
As the film starts, we see the colour of it. Water. The whole film is a fairytale made by a director that created "Pan's Labyrinth". It starts off very magically, although it shows us the daily routine of Eliza (Sally Hawkins), it makes it seem like she is a princess living in the real world. She is not rich or a Royal but her story and spirit makes her the mute princess. Trying to explain herself using signs and emotions and acts. She becomes very appealing. Her character seems so innocent yet so courageous. I was thinking about the idea behind the colours that are used, why is there so much green. It creates the sense of being underwater but why is green "the colour of the future", why is the car green, why these horrible green pies. In a way, it brings up nostalgia. It is the time of Cold War and somehow green makes sense, it makes the movie look like the past. The past is sometimes interpreted as romanticism. The music helps us catch the feeling of the past and romance. Now we get it.
Curiouser and curiouser... We face Three characters. Eliza, Zelda (Octavia Spencer) and Giles (Richard Jenkins). The mute, a black woman and a gay man. We don't fully understand that they are portrayed as outsiders until later on, we see them as very alluring personalities. Perhaps these are the people that have the capability of doing something great, they are open and naive but rather interesting. We see love in different aspects. In my opinion it is something we can never describe, it is a concept that will always be viewed differently. I don't believe that we all feel things in exactly the same way. The Shape of Water shows us Strickland (Michael Shannon), he has a family but we see no emotions in this creature. We also see Giles, he goes to the pie place to buy the horribly tasting lime pies that he stocks up in the fridge, he likes a guy that works there. Does he stock up the pies because he hates them or because he wants to keep a memory or a symbol of a person that caught his eye.
Strickland is a disgusting character. His habits and behaviour changed the understanding of a monster. He is lifeless, practically dead inside, rotting...We can see, by the way how his fingers develop puss and the smell that everyone feels worried about, even he is unable to stand it. They could not heal properly to something which is so cold. We watch him tear them off to gross us out but doesn't he gross us out as a character? He said God can look like any of us but probably more like him, while he was talking to Eliza and Zelda. He is constantly eating green sweets, and what earlier seemed like the colour of water is now the colour of disgust. He evokes some sort of nasty, vulgar feelings towards Eliza.
Through all the hate around, including the Cold War, we see love. Eliza meets a creature (Doug Jones), they both can't speak, he sees her without any 'defects'. They are so different but so similar. Being caught as a weapon during war we see him develop from a prisoner into something that can love and be loved. Is he really the monster? He has the ability to heal, feel and love... It is so weird yet so romantic to watch how they both fall in love. It is a story of Beauty and the Beast in a much crazier manner, making us see no connection between these movies. While Giles is hurt when he found out who the pie guy really is, Zelda is stuck in a boring routine, a Soviet spy sees more in life than in death, they all agree to help Eliza save someone she loves and cares for. So many wonderful scenes and divine moments, like such when the whole room feels up with water and appreciation.
So who is the real monster? It is only us that create a monster inside. Love is shapeless, crazy and beautiful. It is a fairytale just like the film intended to show us. Sometimes we have to let go in order to do the best and if we become the prisoners of our desires we imprison the people we love. But as a fairytale, this film has a happy ending, eventually we come to believe that Eliza was born to be with the amphibian man, underwater, like she did throughout the film. The scars on her neck become the gills and she comes back to life and merges with the amphibian man. The red dress which she is wearing symbolises love, passion and strength. The last scene is accompanied with a little poem perhaps that tries to finally explain the meaning of the title.
It is a charming movie and cinematography, it combines childhood and adulthood. In the end it makes sense but which exactly? There is no particular Form to answer...
What an amazing breakthrough, a great fit of an actor for Elton, so many colours and the way music fits the movie all the way to the end... you can definitely enjoy this jukebox biopic.
Hidden feelings, struggles to be loved, how childhood effects the person you become, how you can step up your game, how you can be unafraid, there is always help and you can't be scared to ask for it. As Elton says "I'm still standing", maybe we can learn from that.