THE SHAPE Of WATER – review

First off, I have to start with this movie was phenomenal. Probably one of the best I have seen in 2017. I have always wondered: “But what if the monster ended up with the girl??” And Guillermo del Toro was more than happy to provide a unique and magical story that features just that. I was also pleased to see that the main character was not your conventional lead. The main character is mute, and while at first I was skeptical about how that would play out on screen, Sally Hawkins’ emotional, wordless performance did bring a tear to my eye on several occasions. 
 
The only thing I was a bit shocked at how sexually driven the plot is, but it is playful enough that is not something that it is overbearing. I mean, after all there had to be enough interest built so that we would be able to accept the giant fish man, The Asset(Doug Jones), as the odd love interest of Elisa(Sally Hawkins).  Usually the monster is not the top pick for the love interest(unless you are weird like me), but you will find definitely find yourself rooting for them to be together. Doug Jones is somehow able to find a way to play The Asset as the perfect mix of monstrous and sexy to pull off this kind of chemistry.
It starts out with a rather monotonous tone, the character going about her day to day life without much change. Working as a cleaning lady can’t be too interesting right? That is until the scientists you work for import a mysterious container with your future fish boyfriend. 
Things can also get difficult when your main antagonist is played by the intense Michael Shannon. Richard Strickland, the all American man who is dedicated to the success of his career.. That could easily be the description of the perfect man for a 1960s love story. But when your job is to babysit the Asset at all costs, you can see where there may be a conflict of interest between his character and Elisa. I can easily say, Shannon did a fantastic job of playing a character that I wouldn’t mind giving a slap, or even seven slaps. Mean spirited and ruthless, I wouldn’t want to cross this guy. 
Without giving any spoilers, I would definitely recommend seeing this movie. I thought I had a good idea of what the movie would be like based on the trailer and was worried that it would be your standard cut and paste love story only the main male lead is a bit more monstrous looking, but there was so much more than what I was expecting. 10/10 would definitely see again and again.
 
Katrina Carroll

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