Film Review: The Shape of Water – A Sci-fi Fairytale With A Heart

Verdict: Beauty and the Beast with an amphibian twist!

After movies like Pan's Labyrinth and the Hellboy franchise, Guillermo del Toro is back with an enchanting tale of an unusual and sweet romance. The Shape of Water has been deemed as one of the best movies of 2017. Stacked with multiple Oscar nods, the story has also been adapted into a novel by del Toro and Daniel Kraus.

WHAT'S THE SHAPE OF WATER ABOUT:

Sally Hawkins plays the role of Elisa Esposito who is a mute janitor working in a highly secured government laboratory. Set in the 1960s, the movie is mostly shot in the lab and the apartment where Elisa lives.

The antagonist Colonel Richard Strickland, played by Michael Shannon, is appointed to take care of a mysterious creature (Asset) in the facility. Elisa and her co-worker Zelda (Spencer) come across the humanoid amphibian (Jones) where Elisa forms a friendship with him in a matter of a few days. Meanwhile, the Soviet has plans to use the creature in the Space Race (competition between the Cold War rivals Soviet and the US to gain the upper hand in spaceflight).

With the help of a scientist Robert Hoffstetler (Stuhlbarg), her neighbour Giles (Jenkins) and Zelda, Elisa tries to keep the creature alive. When both countries fight to get a piece of the Asset, Elisa and the humanoid amphibian, fall in love and the best part is that it isn't even strange.

WHAT WORKS:

Though this is a fantasy, you would be completely invested because of del Toro's amazing direction and the fabulous line-up. Hawkin's character may be mute but she manages to communicate through her expressions seamlessly. Shannon's Robert can surely be on the top of your "love-to-hate guys" list.

The storyline itself is so unique, add to that the visually stunning production design, score and cinematography and you have yourself an Oscar contender with 13 nominations!

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER:

Most of del Toro's work is based on fiction and it is important to go on this journey with an open mind. It would have been great to get more insight on the fascinating amphibian. The movie ends on an open note and leaves us craving a closure.

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH:

If you're a fan of fantasy plots with unique characters, The Shape of Water is a must watch. The movie not only managed to win the Best Picture and Best Director award at the 2017 Golden Globes, it has also bagged multiple BAFTA and Oscar nominations. With the critical praise and accolades, check out what the hype is all about. You won't be disappointed!

– Written by Roshni Sheikh

Release Date: 2018-02-16
Language: English
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Genre: Drama, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Romance
Cast & Crew: Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Jenkins and Doug Jones
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