By now you’ll have heard that ‘The Shape of Water’ is one of the best reviewed and well accepted films of 2017. Guillermo del Toro won awards for best directing at the Golden Globes and the BAFTA’s, and it’s won a whole host of awards in various other categories. While I see why its won so many awards, the appeal for me was just not quite there.
There are lots of great things to mention about this film. The cinematography and design is beautiful, with a quirky atmosphere complimenting the (very) quirky premise. As well as this, the make-up effects on the creature are fantastic, and though I believe some CGI was used in it’s creation, the merge between the two are seamless. As well as this, Del Toro isn’t afraid to tarnish the beauty with some serious gore, and this juxtaposition works very nicely. The film is clearly a love letter to the bygone era of Hollywood Romance, and just like La La Land did in 2016, it has captured the hearts of all the reviewers and awards societies.
There is one big negative about the film, and I’ll be blunt; it is so f*cking weird.
The premise of the film, not to spoil anything (it’s the official synopsis), is that a worker at a military research clinic falls in love with a merman. And while I acknowledge that the piece is one big metaphor, and I respect Del Toro for delivering a totally original film, for me I just couldn’t quite buy into it.
Overall, the film is still very enjoyable, with some great performances, and a beautiful design. But I just didn’t get roped enough into the world to get lost in the water, and instead came out feeling dry.