The Shape of Water is the fantasy drama film co-written and directed by Guillermo del Toro, who is well known for his stories based on fairy tales and horror, with incredibly beautiful visuals. His enduring enchantment with monsters can be seen in his filmography, which he considers as the symbols of great power. This film also characterizes the adventure story of a magical aquatic creature, with the predictable but compelling storyline. The film has been nominated for thirteen (highest this year) Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress.
In Cold War era of 1962, the plot of the film builds around the Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins), an introvert and mute woman, who is working as a janitor in a scientific government facility. Elisa has only two friends, Giles (Richard Jenkins), a gay next-door neighbor, and her fellow-worker, Zelda (Octavia Spencer). One day, an aquatic (man like) creature (Doug Jones) arrives at the facility in a tank, which has been captured from Amazon by Colonel Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon). Being a janitor Elisa has access to every part of the facility, which tinkles her curiosity, and she starts visiting the creature and discovers that the creature is a humanoid amphibian who can understand and communicate through sign language. Later, her compassion towards that creature forms a close bond with it. Rest of the film focuses on this special connection they form despite all odds, and how that connection drives Elisa at her extremes, how her friends stand firm with her in all of this, and what measures Colonel Richard takes to destroy it all to fill his incompleteness.
The core story of the film is based on ‘beauty and the beast’ theme. The film is a true spectacle where fairy tale comes real on screen, which strikes directly audiences’ heart, and defines the solid presentation of imaginary fantasy tales. The film is beautifully directed, every shot is well-crafted, the arc of an unexpected and sweet relationship in the story is very gracefully handled, and yes, all the credit goes to Guillermo del Toro. The film gives the very strong and impacting messages about an act of compassion and music to bring two alone hearts together, how people fight their whole life to fill the void of incompleteness, and how a complicated term like ‘love’ has no exact definition to it like the shape of water. The use of practical special effects is the specialty of Del Toro, which is brilliantly used in this one also. Michael Shannon’s negative role looks menacing which gives the exact proportion of monstrosity needed for the story. Sally Hawkins has just shined in her role, without talking she has conveyed so much in the film, which ultimately fetched her the Oscar Award nomination.
Verdict : Rush to your nearest theaters and witness the exceptionally beautiful and outstanding film.
Rating : 4.2/5