The Shape of Water
Director : Guillermo Del Toro
Release Date : 1st Dec 2017 (New York City), 2nd Feb 2017 (India)
Cast : Sally Hawkins, Doug Jones, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, Michael Stuhlbarg
Duration : 119 Minutes
Review : The Shape of Water is a beautiful movie which is set in the backdrop of cold war and space race. The movie revolves around the prime thought which was also highlighted in James Whale’s 1935 film “The bride of Frankenstein”. In the movie it was widely said as “Alone: Bad; Friends: Good”.
The movie narrates the story of Elisa (Sally Hawkins) who is a mute girl and she talks only through sign language. The lady is a cleaner in the Baltimore based corporation which has OCCAM written over it in bold letters. Along with Elisa Zelda (Octavia Spencer) also works at the same place who is Elisa’s true friend and she patiently responds to her sign language and gives her a regular update of the entire day. The company is headed by a sadist. He is also a racist and he is Strickland (Michael Shannon). He carries a cattle prod around him anywhere he goes. Mostly most of the activities done in the corporation are of top secret and are shared with only very few people. Every in the company is paranoid about Russians. One day an unknown tank lands up to the company. And everyone is excited to know what’s inside the box. Actually there is a very important asset inside the box. The asset is actually an amphibian man who was discovered in the very popular amazon forests. He was then worshipped as a God but presently his status has degraded a lot. And now he is lying in a box. The creature has to go through occasional tortures and that is the main reason why the scientist (Michael Stuhlbarg) has brought him to the offices. He urges the head of the corporate to not kill or destroy him. But rather he requests that this amphibian man should be studied upon.
But our poor girl Elisa is secretly drawn to this creature and she begins to have a slight liking towards him. Elisa wants the creature also to like her in return. And thus she gives him with hard boiled eggs thinking that it might please him. She tries to make him a part of her world and thus he treats him sign language. Elisa also plays Benny Goodman records to the amphibian creature. Their dating and courtship time is quite interesting and is shown as briefly as possible in the movie. This is the part where audience have a connect with the movie and they love this part where human emotions are depicted. Elisa is also seen confronting about her secret love with this amphibian character to her gay neighour who is always engaged in watching some strange TV show.
Some parts of the movie have drawn inspirations from “The Black Stallion”. And what must be mentioned here is the awesome cinematography which the movie portrays. The dark basement corridors are so beautifully picturised that you can actually smell the rotten thing. When it comes to the house of Elisa then you can see her window corridors, glasses and even bathtubs all of them are in green colour and may be the director is trying to portray the colour green because that is the colour of future.
Overall, it is of course a fictional and fairy tale movie but it is a beautiful movie. It resonates with the idea of fairy tale romance and what loneliness can do to you. For me it’s a must watch and the movie is definitely going to get many awards at the upcoming Oscars.