Movie Review: The Shape of the Water


The Shape of Water (2017)

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Starring: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer

Opening Thoughts:

Guillermo del Toro may be my favorite director and his latest film, The Shape of Water looked spectacular and intriguing. It seems to be a mix of romance and horror. A unique blend with the possibility of the profound. I feel like his style is similiar to the great late Ursula Le Guinn (may she RIP). I was excited for this film and it did not disappoint.


What I Didn’t Like

Almost nothing I could find wrong with this film. The only thing I did note is that the pacing slowed to a halt a few times. Though never for too long.  They could have shaved a few minutes from the film for sure, maybe even 10-20.


What I Liked

There is so much to talk about this film. So much that can easiliy spoiled.  I will do my best not to do that,

The movie may have a thin layer of this fishman-woman romance, but beneath this is where the true magic lies. The truth is that this movie is completey about voice, language, and communication and the various dynamics between class, race, gender, or even orientation.

From a visual standpoint the film is stunning. Del Toro always makes beautifully designed movies and this is is no exception.  His direction is evident throughout this film in its design, strong female characters, and monsters.

It also showcases some hard truths about the dangers of American exceptionalism and chauvenism. The power their wield without knowing it.

The musical score is beautiful. While at time it borrows with previously created songs mixed with original score, it fits the movie very well.

It is a film every person in the United States of America should watch and I believe will come out with different messages from it.  It talks about the dangers of lacking empathy and refusal to break beyond what we know and understand.

The characters are not just characters, but symbolic of various groups of people unheard.

I consider it astounding piece of film and important what it represents. I consider it the finest work by del Toro to date.  Simply astounding.


I love The Shape of Water, less for what it is, but rather what it represents. The ides of empathy, and the various means of voice. It is a powerful film that brought me to tears several times for its underlying message. If you’ve ever felt oppressed, if you ever felt frsutration of not being fully understood, this movie shines a light for you and I couldn’t be happier.


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The Shape of Water (2017)

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