“The Shape of Water” Review ✦✦✦✦✧

11 October, 2017

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Screenwriters: Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
Director of Photography: Dan Laustsen
Sally HawkinsDoug JonesMichael Shannon

Synopsis: A mute woman working as a cleaner in a high-security laboratory falls in love with a mythical sea creature, risking her life as she vows to free him from enslavement.

Shape of Water Review:

Magical in ways previously overlooked in cinema, “The Shape of Water” is a knockout fantasy-for-adults fairy tale from creative master Guillermo del Toro who delivers “Amélie” vibes with a far danker palette than any Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie. Hitting dark green tones and going heavy on the menace and violence, the movie sees trademark escapism from the man who gave us “Pan’s Labyrinth,” proving gloriously sinister while prancing in the joys of a postmodern aesthetic as the Creature from the Black Lagoon is reborn as the Romeo to charm a new generation of cinemagoers.

Left beaten and chained by a maniacal villain, the creature bears the brunt of Cold War savagery but his warm-blooded temperament shines through, igniting a luscious romance to soothe bullet wounds and severed vocal chords. Giving the Asset a physical reality that’s so rare to see in the CGI age, the film hums to the tune of its own melody, lulling viewers with gorgeous imagery and doing an outstanding job of supplementing its somewhat rudimentary storyline with a plot latched onto the bizarre sexual conquests of its female lead.

Expressing herself without inflection and embracing the inherent sensuality of the human spirit, British treasure Sally Hawkins gives a career-defining performance and del Toro renders her beautiful, stripping away her voice and leaving only the true essence of feminine devotion as a sprightly woman who becomes intoxicated upon the arrival of her amphibious soulmate. A likeable actress re-imagined as a mute, communicating through touch, sign language, tap dance, Hawkins becomes wonderfully lost in-character, dazzling in idiosyncratic bemusement before del Toro adorns her with the only feature she was lacking, leaving viewers breathless in an overwhelming haze of emotion.


Review Date
The Shape of Water