The Shape of Water Review GodLike Filmmaking Venice 2017

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Guillermo del Toro’s newest film, The Shape of Water, has a mute protagonist, a Cold War backdrop, and an aquatic creature that has spots on his skin that glows like a map of the universe. It’s also a love story. It’s perhaps his most ambitious film because combining those elements plus a narrative weave of non-verbal communication—or the faultiness of relying on words—is extremely difficult even before I tell you that the love story is between a woman and a creature. As such, it’s an immense achievement because The Shape of Water not only entertains as a sumptuous fairytale, but it reinforces a faith in humanity set in a time where tolerance of other races, nationalities, and non-“family values” love was volatile. Much like it feels like that time period of intolerance is percolating back to the surface now. This is del Toro’s Beauty and the Beast with the delicate time period touches and social awareness of Far from Heaven.Set in 1950’s Baltimore, The Shape of Water opens in a flooded apartment that rests above a movie theater. There are two apartments above the theater, one belonging to Elisa (Sally Hawkins), a mute woman who works as a janitor at a high-clearance research facility, the other belongs to her friend Giles (Richard Jenkins), a homosexual editorial painter who’s lost his standing at an advertising firm. The theater below is decorated almost like a cathedral, as old theaters were. Eventually this film reveals a creature and it’d be easy for del Toro to show 1950’s creature features in the theater but instead the glimpses we get into the theater show biblical epics. Facebook Twitterlast_img read more