When Guillermo del Toro firmly believes in a project, he launches a challenge. Without network or financing, with the only guarantee of its blind faith in the story. He pays all the work. Hire sculptors to create the statues of creatures (below the evolution of "the creature") that he has imagined and designers to design his universe. Develop the script. And only at the end he goes to a studio, with his offer: an all-inclusive travel package with its fantasies. The producer said yes to everything. Well, almost everything. FOX bought the love story between a monster and a concierge. They accepted that the protagonist was mute. They assumed the tender and shady atmosphere, during the Cold War. But they refused to have the film in black and white. So the new fairy tale from Del Toro is seen with all its dark colors, but it has to be seen whether or not.
Fear and aversion to another person are always with us and much rarer is empathy for another human being, and even less common is love in these isolated and disconcerting times. We are in 1962, with a cold war that threatens the death of everyday life, The Shape of Water is a sincere and emotional letter of love to strangers, misfits and creatures walking among us. A romance of fantastic proportions, a fairy tale, a movie of monsters. Guillermo del Toro’s latest work is a masterpiece of compassion and understanding of the human condition and the transforming power of love.
Elisa (Hawkins, splendid), mute but with curious eyes and a generous heart, works like woman of cleaning in a mysterious military building. The site is supervised by General Hoyt (Searcy) and its security chief, Richard Strickland (Shannon), an American warrior. One night, Elisa meets the new acquisition of the installation, a fish-man (Jones) created in laboratories. While the general and his subordinates argue about the beast (possibly a weapon against the USSR) the scientist Dr. Hoffstetler (Stuhlbarg) appeals to keep the amphibian alive to continue studying, and Elisa feels in love with this fish. With the help of his African-American companion and best friend Zelda (Spencer), they bring the baby to the bathtub in her apartment. Elisa’s homosexual neighbor, Giles (Jenkins), also helps the arthritis, until there is an inevitable discovery of kidnapping and chaos arrives. The Shape of Water is also a surprisingly beautiful movie thanks to production designer Paul D. Austerberry and photography director Dan Laustsen.
The Shape of Water is one of those films in which the essence of the story is plotted from the first scene. A “steadycam” runs through the corridor of a dazzling building that is submerged underwater. It is not yet known, but it is a welcoming place in which one is safe from the dangers of the world. The protagonist, Elisa, appears submerged, without this being a problem for her; it almost seems her natural environment. When you leave the cinema, you will be absolutely soaked because, as I told you, it is adorable, confusing neither for a child or adult tale. But, as a reality, it is rare and difficult to digest.