THE SHAPE OF WATER- Rated R – 2 hrs. 3 mins.
DIRECTOR/WRITER: Guillermo Del Toro
STARRING: Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon and Richard Jenkins
As we venture into the mostly nonexistent life of Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins), we find that living in isolation is an understatement, as she trods through life working at a high-security Government facility, circa 1962. When Elisa and her co-worker Zelda Fuller (Octavia Spencer), run across “a super-classified experiment” in a holding tank, things in Elisa’s life start to change for the better.
As the government tries to decide what to do with their exotic find, Elisa’s gut instinct kicks in, as she tries to befriend this incredible creature. When government agent Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon) is put in charge of this case, and this creature, little does he know that Elisa is keeping even closer tabs than he, on this new exotic creature…that apparently wants nothing more than to be set free…
I give THE SHAPE OF WATER a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN! One minute fantasy, one minute real-life tragedy, this latest Del Toro creation is by my estimation his best film yet! Hawkins is perfectly cast as the mute, emotional and loving Elisa. Spencer is perfectly cast as well as Elisa’s co-hart at work, and at moments in life too, as she tries to understand her friends’ emotions for this elaborately beautiful aquatic creature. Shannon is also brilliant as government agent Strickland, being forced to handle this top-secret find, while he’s being undermined by numerous sources, at every turn Jenkins is also perfectly cast as Elisa’s roommate and protector, as this role allows for his genuine likability and emotional stamina to really shine through. Suffice to say, Del Toro managed to immerse as much fantasy as he can into as many real-life scenarios as possible, bringing to light the questions of life, love and loss, in a very humanistic and undeniably moving display…
This humble opinion is brought to by T. K. Edwards
THE SHAPE OF WATER
Written & Director by: Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer,
Michael Stuhlbarg & Doug Jones
During the Cold War Era, a lonely cleaning woman discovers companionship with an aquatic creature imprisoned in a government facility.
BELOW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS…CONTINUE READING AT OWN RISK
The Shape of Water is a hard one to discuss. Because everytime I told someone the plot of what I was going to go see, they all made scrunchy faces at me and said, “Huh?”. Yes, this is a love story. Yes, it involves a cleaning woman and a sea creature. Yes, there are scenes in this movie that are difficult to view. But at the same time, this is a very beautifully shot movie and Guillermo del Toro is an amazing story teller & director. I’ve enjoyed nearly all of his films like: Pan’s Labyrinth (more creepy creatures), Pacific Rim (Giant Robots vs. Giant Monsters…umm yes please!), Hellboy (my dad loved this one), Hellboy II (my dad did not love this one, LOL), Crimson Peak (Is that Loki?), & Blade II (why can’t anyone use Donnie Yen correctly?). But for some reason, as much as I liked The Shape of Water, there was still something there that was holding me back from loving it. And I think it has to be the sea creature itself. The effects were amazing and Doug Jones performance as the creature was terrific as always, but there was no emotion in the face of the creature. I couldn’t see the affection it had for Sally Hawkins (the cleaning woman). And it looked too much like Abe Sapien, a character from Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy movies. Way too much. This movie could almost be an origin story for Abe, that’s how close they look to me. If del Toro never made Hellboy or Hellboy II, I think The Shape of Water would have affected me a lot differently than it did.
Now, let’s talk about the cast. I think this film has two stand out performances and they are by two actors that are relatively unknown by most moviegoers. The first one is our lead actress of the film, Sally Hawkins. Her performance as our lonely mute cleaning woman that falls in love with the sea creature was outstanding. For the most part, she is using sign language to speak to everyone in the film and Hawkins does an incredible job capturing your attention without saying a word. The second actor that POPS of the screen in this film is Michael Stuhlbarg. He plays a government scientist that has conflicted feelings about the treatment of the sea creature by his fellow co-workers. Stuhlbarg has become one of my favorite actors working today. Most people don’t even know who he is until I start telling them the other films he has been in. And if you’re one of those people, then here we go…Doctor Strange (the bullet in the brain doctor), Cut Bank (where is my parcel?), Seven Psychopaths (hitman shot in the eyeball?), & finally Men in Black 3 (he was the guy in the ski hat w tassels that could see the future)…still nothing…really?…go look him up then…Ha! Keep an eye out (Seven Psychopaths again, LOL) for Michael Stuhlbarg because I believe he is going to continue to put out great performances in the near future. In conclusion, if you have never heard of the movie Hellboy, then go to the theater and see this movie. Otherwise, this is one you can wait to watch at home. Until next time, thanks for reading.