Monday, February 26, 2018

Film: The Shape of Water

Reportedly inspired by Creature from the Black Lagoon, with the wish that 
this time the monster gets the girl, Guillermo del Toro said The Shape of Water (2017) is "a movie in love with love and in love with cinema... [it is] a musical, a thriller, a comedy." Co-written with Vanessa Taylor and directed by del Toro and nominated for Best Picture it rivals Three 
Billboards for its original screenplay. Not so dark as Pan’s Labyrinth, but a 
fairytale nonetheless, this, like many fairytales, is a heterosex-ual love story, set not in Spain following its Civil War but in Baltimore during the Cold War when the USA was in a space race with Russia. The soundtrack, like the amphibious creature, is magical. It transports you, sometimes deliriously, from scene to scene with a smile.

While a twist on Disney’s Little Mermaid-it is the male creature who lives in the water, and the female is mute- still, it is the woman who must follow the male creature to his world. In this love story, love is about recognition. Elisa-who is mute-(Sally Hawkins) says about the creature (Doug Jones): “When he looks at me he doesn’t know how I am incomplete. He sees me as I am.” del Toro said that "Stories help us heal." This story is also about the magic of love to heal. del Toro said 
"When we admit love exists and is the most powerful force in the's like water and it has no shape until it takes it.

del Toro and Taylor speak to the sexual harassment of womenin low paying jobs, and of people without a voice, and paint their villain as sadistic. But we know that ordinary men need not be so wholly villainous to want their women silent. The co-writers also give a nod to the homophobia and racism of 1962 but we know that these heinous creatures still exist today. del Toro wants lines that have been drawn in the sand to be erased: "The other has always been us."

If the nominees for Best Picture were Olympic speed racing, this would lose to Three Billboards by only four hundreths of a second.

No comments: