“The Shape of Water” is an American fantasy drama film, it is set in Baltimore in 1962, directed by Gulliermo del Toro.
Because of the dark atmosphere, full of cold colours, the amazing photography, and above all the theme, this movie won 4 Oscars, one of them for the best film. The story is about Elisa,a dumb custodian at high security government laboratory who falls in love with a captured amphibian humanoid creature.
An opening voice, beloging to her neighbour, Giles, establishes the fable-like tone, setting the story a long time ago, in a small city near the coast, but far from everything else.
The main actress Sally Hawkins is sublime interpreting the orphan Elisa Esposito, dumb since the day she was found “by the river, in the water”. Elisa lives above the Orpheum cinema and Giles is an artist jobless and bald, who spends his days watching TV shows and dreaming of the waiter of the bakery “Dixie Doug’s Pie Emporium”.
When the laboratory, where Elisa works with the funny and talkative Zelda, appropriates of an amphibious creature from Amazon, Dr. Hoffstetler wants to study this amazing creature, worshipped as a god by the people who live there. On the contrary, the agent Strickland, the antagonist, doesn’t approve Hoffstetler’s good intention, and he wants to destroy him. So the doctor and Elisa, with Zelda and Giles’ help, try to free the humanoid to save his life.
All these scenes are “immersed” in the atmosphere of the Cold War, so we have a lot of scenes in Russian and many characters are politically relevant. The creature’s friends decide to take him to Elisa’s house, they recreate the necessary habitat in a simple bath to keep him alive. At this point of the story, Elisa and the monster show us how they are deep down similar: both can’t speak and so they are often not understood and it is like they are in another world when they are together. The two characters fall in love and live an important intimate and romantic moment, in which we can understand how much they need each other.
We can also see where the relation between the humanoid and Giles becomes closer in a really funny but also deep moment.
“The Shape of Water” is, without any doubt, a film that everybody has to see, because it teaches how two very different creatures can be essential to reach a deep self-consciousness.