Took a while to get to this magical piece, mainly I came to know about ‘The Shape Of Water’ in the Oscar nominations announcement. Have to accept that I was a little skeptical about this movie, a fish man story in 2018, come on! But trust me, it’s worth watching.
Guillermo del Tore’s romantic fantasy movie The Shape Of Water, Oscar winner 2018 for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Music Score and for Best Production Design. It started like a fairy tale, almost ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Well almost, but this movie has so many layers than just a fairy tale.This movie is about two lonely souls finding each other, in spite of their incompleteness, they find each other’s company. If I describe the movie plot in a fairy tale style, then it goes like this- a mute princess fall in love with an amazonian sea creature, whereas, the greedy evil guy wants to use the magical creature for his own benefit, knowing the evil guy’s plan, the princess decided to release the sea creature into the water, but got hurt instead and then the magical creature took the princess away, into the water, and healed the princess with his magic touch, at last, out of the reach of the evil guy, they are free, in love, now they are happy.
The background took us back to the US, early 1960 when the gripping cold war is at its height. There, in a secret government laboratory, Elisa(Sally Hawkins)works as a janitor. Elisa is mute, back in her childhood she was discovered beside the riverbank as an orphan with a wounded neck. She uses sign language to communicate. She is lonely, almost invisible to other except only Zelda(Octavia Spencer), her co-worker, and Giles(Richard Jenkins), her next-door neighbor knows her better. Colonel Richard Strickland(Michael Shannon) brings an amphibian man in the facility. They captured him from South America’s river. They want to exploit the creature’s power and use it to American advantage in the Space Race. The creature is held captive and continuously torture by The Colonel. Elisa see the sea creature, see his wounds, his helplessness. Every day she gives him food, tries to teach him sign languages. They both have started to connect with each other, both have incompleteness, both are alone. Elisa can empathize with this Amphibian man, started to care for him, suddenly she is not lonely anymore, she is not invisible. The creature does not care her muteness, he can see her, understands her. In a very little time, they have developed a deep bonding. But like every fairy tale, the evil guy has some different intention, he wants to kill the creature for experimental purpose. When Elisa comes to know about the plan, she has gone desperate, quite gentle Elisa becomes fierce, she doesn’t care anything else, just to save the creature. At last, she rescues her love and brings him home. The scientist Dr.Hoffstelter, Zelda, and Giles help her in rescuing. Elisa and her soulmate enjoy the time they spent in that small apartment room, forgetting about the world around them, they were in love. A love story which is not perfect but feels so true. Elisa has to free her love into the water or he might die. Sally Hawkins is incredible in expressing sorrow through her eyes.In the end, she succeeds but gets injured. Then the sea creature carries her into the water where Elisa gets a new life, a new start with her Fish man. A dreamy romantic fantasy – totally fictional, but beautiful and soulful! It has a sweet after effect. Superb casting, beautiful melodious background score, classic Hollywood cinemaphotography, and romantic songs selection. It’s a must watch.