Director: Guillermo del Toro
Writers: Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
Music: Alexandre Desplat
One of the favorites to win the Academy Award for Best Film this year, The Shape of Water is the movie every critic and audience member is raving about globally. Popular director, Guillermo del Toro, is at it again and his movie has been the talk of the award season so far. The film has received the most number of nominations at the 90th Academy Awards – 13 – and is also likely to win most of them. So what is it about this dark fantasy inter-species romance that has tongues wagging? Yes, the plot sounds sketchy, but leave it to del Toro to make a beautiful movie out of an astonishing story.
The movie is set in the 1960s, where a top-secret research facility holds a mysterious amphibian captive. It was captured by Colonel Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon), whose job now is to conduct experiments on this exceptional creature, revered in some cultures. A ruthless army man, Strickland shows no remorse while dealing with the non-human. Meanwhile, a mute janitor at the facility, Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins), visits the creature secretly and over time, forms a bond with it. When she realizes that her new friend might be in danger, she concocts a plan to kidnap him, with the help of fellow janitor, Zelda (Octavia Spencer) and neighbor Giles (Richard Jenkins). The Colonel may be clueless about this treachery, but he is not a man to be trifled with, and Eliza is about to learn that the hard way.
While Guillermo del Toro has experimented with central non-human characters in his past films, this one certainly feels special. The trailer itself transports the viewer into another world and the beautifully crafted amphibian is a creature of wonder. Not that the director would have gone amiss in that aspect. Performances by Hawkins, Shannon, and Spencer look promising. Sally Hawkins (nominated for Best Actress) is certainly the one to watch out for, especially since her delivery is through actions alone. Octavia Spencer and Richard Jenkins (nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Actor) look interesting in their parts, but it is the antagonist Michael Shannon who we are the most excited about. Music by Alexandre Desplat, too, will play an important factor in setting the right mood for this period drama.
If you’re excited about the movie, your wait is going to end soon. The Shape of Water will hit cinemas this week, where you can watch it in its full glory on the big screen. Book your tickets soon, because if the movie wins the Academy Award on the 4th of March, you would already have seen an Oscar-winning film this year!