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The Shape of Water 

La forma dell'acqua (original title)
When a prominent citizen is found dead in a compromising position, the coroner rules heart attack, but Montalbano isn't buying it. He doesn't buy the circumstantial case built up against the Swedish daughter in-law of the local MP, either.


Alberto Sironi


Francesco Bruni (screenplay), Andrea Camilleri (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Luca Zingaretti ... Commissario Salvo Montalbano
Katharina Böhm ... Livia Burlando
Isabell Sollman Isabell Sollman ... Ingrid Sjöström
Davide Lo Verde Davide Lo Verde ... Agente Galluzzo
Peppino Mazzotta ... Ispettore Giuseppe Fazio
Angelo Russo Angelo Russo ... Agente Catarella
Francesco Stella Francesco Stella ... Agente Gallo
Pietro Biondi Pietro Biondi ... Questore
Giorgio Lupano ... Pino Catalano
Ubaldo Lo Presti Ubaldo Lo Presti ... Pippo Ragonese
Roberto Nobile ... Nicolò Zito
Marcello Perracchio Marcello Perracchio ... Dottor Pasquano
Fulvio D'Angelo Fulvio D'Angelo ... Gegè Gullotta
Giovanni Guardiano ... Jacomuzzi
Pietro Montandon Pietro Montandon ... Avvocato Pietro Rizzo


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Engineer Luparello is a very important and feared politician. Or rather, it was because his body is found in La Mannera by two scavengers. The body is abandoned in the machine and everything suggests a natural death. On the spot, which is a meeting place for prostitutes, a very precious necklace is also found. While Commissioner Montalbano is still uncertain about the facts, at political level there is an agreement propitiated by the lawyer Rizzo, friend of the dead man, and his former political opponents. Montalbano is increasingly uncertain because, as the widow Luparello says, water, like facts, does not have its own shape but takes on what you want to take on. Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

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Crime | Drama | Mystery


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User Reviews

Very well shaped
10 October 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Love detective mystery dramas, particularly those from the UK and US ('Inspector Morse', 'A Touch of Frost', 'Foyle's War', 'Inspector George Gently', 'Midsomer Murders', 'Law and Order', 'Criminal Minds', 'Monk' and 'Murder She Wrote' for examples,, and non-English/American ones (i.e. The Swedish 'Wallander' and the Danish 'The Killing') also fascinate me.

'Inspector Montalbano' is one of the best and most entertaining examples. It is not easy breathing freshness into a well-worn genre but 'Inspector Montalbano' manages to do so with aplomb. Watching 'Inspector Montalbano' is like eating a delicious Italian meal that immensely satisfies and leaves you wanting more. There may be very familiar tropes, but in a way it's inevitable and doesn't detract from the enjoyment at all.

The previous two episodes from the first season, "The Sandwich Thief" and "The Sound of the Violin", are excellent. So is the Season 2 opener "The Shape of Water", for exactly the same strengths/reasons as the previous two episodes (hence the reiteration). The show is settling very nicely in the writing and atmosphere, more than in the previous two episodes. The denouement is tragic, intense and poignant, though how things are revealed is a touch laboured and contrived. There is really not much, if anything, wrong otherwise.

As always with 'Inspector Montalbano', "The Shape of Water" is beautifully shot and the scenery is stunning, making those who've never been to Italy want to book a holiday there as soon as possible and is a treat for anybody who loves all things Italian. The music is never over-bearing or low-key with a nice atmosphere and flavour, a lot of it is very cleverly used. The sound effects are remarkably authentic.

Writing is taut and tight with some beautifully balanced and very funny humour and Montalbano's very complicated personal life is portrayed very touchingly, allowing us to see a softer side to him which was great to see and makes him even more interesting than previously. The subtitles are not hard to follow and the story is compelling and atmospheric, suitably challenging the viewer with some suitably twisty elements while still being logical and not being convoluted.

Characters may be stereotypes but well-written ones, especially one of the most fascinating foreign detective mystery dramas titular characters there is to me and the scene-stealing Catarella (hilarious comic relief but more than that). The supporting characters intrigue too, some wonderfully shady, especially Rizzo.

Acting is terrific, especially from Luca Zigaretti who is a treasure in the title role. Angelo Russo's comic timing is a refreshing and always perfectly timed joy and the supporting cast are strong. Katharina Bohm is just as good here as she was in the previous episodes and Peppino Mazzotta relishes his role again. Pietro Montandon is particularly good of the support acting as Rizzo.

Overall, 'Inspector Montalbano' keeps going from strength to strength in yet another excellent episode. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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Italy | Sweden



Release Date:

2 May 2000 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Shape of Water See more »

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