Director: Guillermo del Toro
Writers: Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
Cast: Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Doug Jones, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg

Elisa, a lonely janitor, works at a top-secret research facility. This allows her to clean in suspicious places where she discovers that an amphibious creature is being held in captivity.

Elisa Esposito, the mute

The main character of this film is Elisa Esposito, and she is mute. It’s insane how expressions and hand gestures can be louder than words. We understand her feeling through her way of communicating. Even her persuasion through her eyes is remarkable.

Not only is she mute, but she is a real loner and introvert. In the entire film, it looks like she only has 2 friends:  Zelda Fuller, her colleague, and Giles, with who she lives. I see Giles like a sort of father figure, even if he is not.

Sally Hawkins definitely gives a career-best performance with her vulnerable portrayal of Elisa.

The water creature

This creature looks a lot like the one of Hellboy. If you’ve seen one of Guillermo Del Toro’s Hellboy movies, then you know what I am talking about. But it’s not the same creature. They just took a similar look.

I could talk about him being an ultimate tool for the government, but I’m not going to do that because I feel that the movie isn’t really about that. Well, of course, it’s implied in the story, but it’s more about his relationship with Elisa.

He is trapped and lost at the same time. The world above the waters seems to be unknown to him.

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The relationship

While both can’t speak, they can still hear. The use of communication in “the shape of water” is astounding. Elisa uses signs and objects to teach the creature all kinds of things. She even shows him the beauty of music and dancing.

You would think that she enriches the amphibious creature, but this also has a significant effect on her. They both have this feeling of unfulfillment, and they kinda give each other a reason for existing. Elisa comes out as a loner, as mentioned before, but the waterman gives her someone to take care of.

Some events that happen in the movies are seen as sweet, but at the same time, it’s disturbing. Well, it’s probably because the creature isn’t really human. But one can argue that the being is intelligent and therefore acceptable. And, I’m not saying I’m against this romance because it is really well done! But I can’t help the fact that it sometimes feels awkward.

I’m happy that I’ve seen this movie alone because this could have created some uncomfortable moments with some friends.

The Shape of Water is its own world

What I love about Guillermo del Toro movies is that they have their own world. In this one, you have the secret facility that is doing research on mysterious creatures. But the beauty is that he does not need to explain “the why.”

It is a world that is presented to us, but we, as an audience, accept it for what it is.

While this all may seem like a fairytale, it isn’t portrayed as one. There are still some bloody and violent scenes.

Even Michael Shannon’s character is pretty dark, but also his character has more stories to tell. It is like he is also pursuing specific goals. He may impress you as a guy who has it all, but he actually doesn’t.

And, having him as a villain always works for me. This guy can be so menacing! It gives me the chills!

Conclusion

The shape of Water is Guillermo del Toro’s best work until now!

He and Sally Hawkins can tell a tale of love without saying one word in a magnificent imaginative world.

4.5 stars