The Shape of Water is a creature feature with a heart of gold that’s among my “best of” for 2017. An outstanding film that’s really all about accepting the “other” in life, I watched most of it leaned back, letting it flow over me, with a smile on my face.* It is one of those rare films that is a must-see in theaters to get the full, visually-rich experience.
Guillermo Del Toro‘s canon of work isn’t always my cup of tea; it’s not difficult to freak me out, film-wise, so Pan’s Labyrinth and Crimson Peak were… challenging. Hellboy was charming and, if I had to draw a straight line from one of the auteur’s productions to another, it would be between it and The Shape of Water. Both have humor and action but are centered around somewhat odd heroes with quirks and charms, and difficulties fitting into society. Where Hellboy is huge, red and scary, Elisa is tiny, teal and mute. That is to say, she is almost always dressed in teal, blue, or green and beautifully matches the colors found on our lovable, kind-eyed fishman. It was fascinating to see how the hue becomes a critical player in this film and, as Elisa’s journey evolves, she begins to mix teal with more and more red in her ensembles. I love this sort of sartorial character development and applaud the costumer’s work here. Among so many others associated with The Shape of Water.
Does every single film have to have a moment where sexual violence is threatened against a woman?
*The Shape of Water probably isn’t a movie to catch with your kids or parents – unless you’re all terribly open-minded.
I hate that I didn’t clearly see the twist coming, but it made it no less enjoyable when it did happen.
Really, really short review: A beautiful and heartbreaking love story with a very satisfying ending.