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Friday, February 16

Haiku Revieu | The Shape of Water

Friday, February 16
The Shape of Water

Of monsters and men
Surprisingly sexual
A sweet love story

At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.

I've been looking forward to seeing The Shape of Water since I first heard about it, and we finally got to the theater earlier this month to see it. I typically really enjoy Guillermo del Toro unique style of filmmaking, and something about the idea of this movie really struck me.

You'll notice that I mentioned the surprisingly sexual nature of the film in the haiku above. I mention this, not because it was done for shock factor, but because I think the trailers give off a "this is a sweet love story" more than "this is a sweet love story between two of-age individuals who have adult urges." One of my coworkers actually said that they thought it was a kid's movie—which, no—and the people sitting next to us in the theater had brought their pre-teen or early-teen son. (That kid is likely scarred for life; not because of the sexual scenes, but because he had to watch them with his parents.)

The Shape of Water definitely feels like a del Toro film. It's a period fantasy piece with strong, well-developed characters and a dreamy quality that, although I was left with questions at the end, made me hopeful in the power of the story's magic. It's a statement on how "monsters" are often more "human" than actual humans, and how love is love is love, regardless of what outsiders might think or judge.

Sally Hawkins is wonderful as Elisa, and does so well at emoting without being able to talk. The expressions on her face, and her body language, do all the talking for her. Her character is truly unique. Octavia Spencer's Zelda is adorably sassy, and a true friend, and Richard Jenkins's Giles is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Unsurprisingly, Doug Jones is perfect as the monster; if we ever met in real life, I think I'd be surprised if his mannerisms didn't trend toward the alien. And Michael Shannon was amazing as the villanous Richard Strickland. I hate that guy with all my being, but he's never flat and honestly fascinating in a "serial killers are facsinating" kind of way.

This film definitely lived up to the hype, both that in my own head and of the general public.

Check it out:

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