The Shape of Water (2017)
Written by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
“If I told you about her, what would I say? That they lived happily ever after? I believe they did. That they were in love? That they remained in love? I’m sure that’s true. But when I think of her – of Elisa – the only thing that comes to mind is a poem, whispered by someone in love, hundreds of years ago: “Unable to perceive the shape of You, I find You all around me. Your presence fills my eyes with Your love, It humbles my heart, For You are everywhere.”
What did I know when I sat down to watch Guillermo del Toro‘s new Film, “The Shape of Water”? I knew there was an unconventional love story. I knew there was a creature. I knew there was a mute heroine. I knew that it was complicated and magical. I knew I might cry. I knew that I’d probably love it because I’m a huge fan of Guillermo del Toro’s work.
What I didn’t know (without spoilers, I promise). I didn’t know that Sally Hawkins was such an incredible actor and that she would steal my heart and literally shine off the screen. I didn’t know that the film was as much about friendship then it is about love. I didn’t realize what a commentary about humanity and society it would be, and how applicable it would be to right now. I didn’t realize how beautiful it would be.
Oh, and the Music. Alexandre Desplat’s soundtrack is whimsical, emotional, beautiful, heartbreaking, and beautiful – just like the Film is.
“The Silence of Love” by Alexandre Desplat
I mentioned Hawkins performance, which is radiant and spectacular. There’s more though. Richard Jenkins, one of my all-time favorites, takes us through this world, and story, with humility, with vulnerability, with his heart on his sleeve, and with enormous humanity. Octavia Spencer, who is always amazing, is just that in this. She is strong and unwavering, full of love, and seems to be almost impervious to the racial inequality of the time (I say almost because her eyes show more pain than she lets on).
I love the way that del Toro writes women, and how he presents their sexuality. I love how human and vulnerable, beautiful, and appealing both del Toro and Doug Jones make the “creature”. I admire the unique story, the strong characters, the way everything has a green and grey sheen to it except in very significant moments when bold reds and blues appear. I love that we never know everything. And, I love Elisa and the family she has built, the courage she has, her beauty and heart, and how she doesn’t need to speak to say so much.
I love that the misfits are the heroes, have the most heart and humanity, and love big. And that they become family to each other.
Michael Shannon is tremendous in this, even if I despised his character and shuddered at so many things he did. He really did portray the perfect villain without being vaudeville “boo hiss”, or stereotypical in his performance, and characterization. Michael Stuhlbarg, who I don’t think I’ve seen before, gave a great performance, too. A quiet heroism that was so heartbreaking.
I’m going to end this here because if I write any more I will give away things that I think you should experience yourself, so no spoilers. I will just say go see this. Don’t wait to watch it at home, go take it in on a big screen, lose yourself in it, be a part of this world for two hours and three minutes. You won’t regret it.
The Shape Of Water Trailer