THE SHAPE OF WATER
Director: Guillermo Del Toro
Cast: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon
Guillermo Del Toro gets back to his fantasy storytelling with this new mash up film. It reminded me of Splash, E.T., and Beauty and the Beast all rolled up together.
Sally Hawkins plays a mute woman named Elisa who works as a overnight cleaner in scientific research facility. Michael Shannon is Strickland, an agent who captures a being that resembles something from the Black Lagoon. Strickland is a complete jerk to the creature and Elisa can’t help but to try and show the creature some compassion.
What then follows is a unfolding friendship/romance from the mind that brought us the amazing “Pan’s Labyrinth”.
THE GOOD: I haven’t been a fan of Del Toro’s last few movies, so it was really good to see him reign in this story, while still delivering the freaky and gory images that he’s known for. This film has a streamlined and really effective plot, absolutely amazing performances from everyone including Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer, and of course Doug Jones, and the beautiful visuals that you’d come to expect from Del Toro.
THE BAD: I did feel the pace started to slow a bit towards the final act, but not enough that I was checking my watch. It’s such a well realized world, that’ also finds ways to be surprising .
OVERALL: Guillermo Del Toro is back to doing what he does best in a movie that plays to his already established strengths. He’s definitely a director that had his own style, and it’s great to see him working in a sandbox that suits him.
Grade: 4 out of 5