The Shape of Water
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Sally Hawkins, Doug Jones, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg, David Hewlett, et.al.
At a government facility in the 1960s, Elisa, a mute cleaning lady, and her friend discover that their facility is housing amphibian creature. Elisa quickly becomes both fascinated by and enamored with the creature, and when she learns that it’s being tortured and will be killed simply so they can study it, she risks everything to set it free.
The Shape of Water is a rare movie. It’s a high-concept, high-art, science fiction film, and therefore won’t appeal to everyone. The actors all have decent chemistry, and Sally Hawkins does an incredible job playing Elisa, the mute woman. Her facial expressions are masterfully done, and you can almost hear what her character is thinking. Doug Jones, who plays the creature, also deserves special mention, since he manages to display emotion through the layers of costume makeup he wears.
The visual effects are beautifully done. Though there aren’t a lot of obvious CGI sequences, the creature makeup, as well as the color timing to give the film a slightly greenish tint, all add to the slightly fairytale-like feel of the film.
This movie is something of a passion project for director Guillermo del Toro, and as with most of his passion projects, this falls into a similar kind of niche. Not many sci-fi/fantasy movies involve a somewhat touching inter-species romance. As such, this movie won’t appeal to everyone. If you are willing to give it a try, you’ll likely be sucked in by the beautiful cinematography. I would definitely recommend at least giving the movie a try, unless you can’t stand sci-fi movies in any capacity. It won’t be for everyone, but someone might be surprised by how much they enjoy it.
The Shape of Water isn’t available to stream anywhere at the moment, but it can be rented from Redbox or Netflix home delivery service, or purchased from a participating store or on-line retailer.