Film review: The Shape of Water

When I first saw the trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s new film The Shape of Water I was drawn in with its amazing visuals and story line snippet.

And I can say that it did not disappoint!

Set in Baltimore during the 1960s, The Shape of Water focusses on our main character Elisa (Sally Hawkins) a mute cleaning woman working the graveyard shift in a secret government facility.

When a strange sea creature (Doug Jones) is found and brought to the lab, Elisa becomes curious and begins to communicate via sign language with him and brings him gifts during her lunch break.

When the head of the project Colonel Strickland (Michael Shannon) decides to vivisect the creature as there is nothing more to garner from it alive, the story really heats up.

Elisa along with her closeted gay neighbour Giles (Richard Jenkins), her fellow cleaning woman and friend for ten years Zelda (Octavia Spencer) and undercover Russian scientist Dr Hoffstetler (Michael Stuhlbarg) plan an escape for the amphibious creature.

Doug Jones and Sally Hawkins in the film THE SHAPE OF WATER. Photo Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Del Toro has created a masterpiece weaving together the genres from a classic love story, a thrilling monster film all with film noir undercurrents.

The themes then spiral from this include good vs evil, beauty vs monstrosity, the treatment of minorities and there’s even throwbacks to the Hollywood Golden era.

As del Toro said, “I like to make movies that are liberating, that say it’s okay to be whoever you are, and it seems that at this time, this is very pertinent.”

Sally Hawkins steals the show with her ability to convey her thoughts and feelings to the audience with a tilt of the head, her glaring eyes and overall mannerisms capturing the audience’s heart making you want for her to have a happy ending.

The attention to detail from the colour palette, sets, costumes and even the cinematography bring a magical quality to this film and remind me of 1950s musicals that are featured during the film.

Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer in the film THE SHAPE OF WATER. Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

The Shape of Water is one film not to miss with Del Toro having created a magical fairy tale that we have not seen before!

In cinemas 18 January