The Shape of Water (2017) Poster

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Many people misunderstood this movie! There is a twist in the story!
TheKing8717 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I was very skeptical about this movie from the very beginning, because I thought that this would probably be a dumb monster movie with a similar theme like "Beauty and the Beast". However, I was very surprised when I saw the movie and think that it was brilliant!

After reading the reviews on this site, it is my understanding that many people that saw this move completely misunderstood it, both the people that loved it and the ones who hated it.

The theme of the movie is not something similar to Beauty and the Beast for those who might think that!

There are several themes in this movie, but the overall theme is about minorities and how privileged people view those who are different. However to make this message more clear the movie is set in the 1960's, where minorities were generally marginalized.

The lead character Elisa Esposito is a mute woman, who was an orphaned child that was found in a river with wounds on her neck and communicates through sign language. She works in a government laboratory as a cleaning lady. Her friends are her co-worker Zelda, a black woman who serves as an interpreter for Elisa, and her next-door neighbor Giles, a closeted gay man. Elisa discovers a mysterious creature in the facility and begins to bond with it. The creature is a mute humanoid amphibian that was captured in a river in South America by Strickland, who is in charge of the project to study it.

Elisa is the main protagonist in this story, and together with Zelda and Giles, they represent a social minority. Women, handicapped people, black people and gay people are all amongst those that were outcast by society at the time. On the other hand, there is Strickland who is the main antagonist in the story and he represents the privileged people at the time. He is a white man in a privileged position, married with children, religious, and is hostile to those who are not like him. He treats the creature hostilely, beats and abuses it, and calls it a monster.

When Elisa learns that Strickland plans to vivisect the creature, she hatches a plan with the help of her friends to free the creature and keeping it in a bathtub at her apartment and planning to set it free in the ocean. Elisa and the creature bond romantically and it is revealed that the creature has healing powers.

When the day arrives to set the creature free, Strickland arrives and shoots Elisa and the creature. The creature heals itself and kills Strickland. The creature takes Elisa and jumps into the ocean where it heals her. When the creature applies his healing touch to the scars on her neck, she starts to breathe through gills.

Here is the TWIST: This scene reveals that Elisa was of the same kind as the creature all along. She just had a more human like form than the creature. There are different clues throughout the film. She was found as child next to a river like the creature. She was found with the "scars" on her neck and they turned out to be dormant gills as the creature healed her. She was mute like the creature. She loved being in water as shown in her morning habits. She was initially attracted to the creature whereas most people would fear it. She comes from a Spanish speaking country, as her last name is Spanish whereas the creature was found in a river in South America.

The creature itself and Elisa represent a minority, as they are alike. The fact that the creature is different yet human like, symbolizes how privileged people viewed minorities at the time. The point of the monster is simply to symbolize how we sometimes view other people that are different from us.

The message of the story is this: You view other people that are different from yourself as "monsters" if you don't try to understand them. However, if you try to understand people who are different from yourself, then you will see that we are basically all alike even though we look different.

I think this movie was brilliant and very clever. Guillermo Del Toro did a great job. It is definitely a movie worth watching.

This is my point of view and I hope that you found this helpful.
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Guillermo Del Toro does "Amelie" meets "Creature from the Black Lagoon"
malcolja1 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Diabetics beware, you're in for a saccharine flavoured heap of mush.

The Shape of Water was directed/created by Guillermo Del Toro best known for creepy and violent films such as Pan's Labyrinth and more mainstream writings such as Hellboy and The Hobbit. For some reason he has had a dose of the lovestrucks and written a film that is basically Amelie meets Creature from the Black Lagoon. There are a couple of questionable violent scenes (torturing a dying man by dragging him around via a bullet wound to the cheek had a touch of the old GDT that we know and love) but the plot literally has no surprises whatsoever. I picked the minor twist about 10 minutes in, and spent the second half of the film waiting for it to be over.

I am sorry to say the only interesting part was the reveal (not literally) of the sea creature's penis via the main character's description which is frankly hilarious.

Octavia Spencer does a fantastic job of playing herself (Was this woman born middle aged?) but let's face it we love her anyway. I would love her to be my best friend, she's a hoot.

Michael Shannon (whom I remember from Take Shelter and Boardwalk Empire) plays a creepy bad guy in a way that makes me never want to have him around for Christmas lunch. Why does he always play someone sexually awkward? I pray we'll never find out.

I was most disappointed that unlike Pan's Labyrinth and some of the other films GDT has made it's not set in a fantastical different world. It's basically the 1950s cold war era in USA with no real pretense of being anything but. I was hoping for a magical realism, but other than the creature, there's no otherworldliness to it.

I am a solid romantic, but I found the plot so saccharine that it made me feel nauseous. There is also a sudden musical number that almost had me running for the aisle, and my sister desperate to see my husband's face (He's allergic to musicals generally). Apart from this light relief, I couldn't wait to get out of there.

I am pretty alone in this opinion, our party was split between 3 people who loved it, and my husband and I who hated it. Maybe if I hadn't seen other GDT films I would have liked it more. My husband also thought the trailer completely misrepresented what he expected from the film. So maybe we were in the wrong movie. But I think romance lovers won't like the art house element, and art house/GDT fans won't like this film. So I think commercially it will be hard to place.
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So disappointing.
bigsmiles-284642 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I was taught before criticism that you should first bring up the good points. Good points: Cinematography, good actors, great old movie clips and music, great sets, good costumes, and an extremely promising storyline. Unfortunately, this movie missed, when it really could have, and SHOULD have, hit. I think from now on I'll choose my movies based upon how they're doing at the box office, and not based on reviews. It seems to be a better indicator of what the public REALLY thinks about a film. We're at week 3 and (for such a seemingly magnificent film), The Shape of Water hasn't even broken even. A telling clue. Budget:$19,400,000 (estimated) Opening Weekend USA: $166,564, 3 December 2017, Limited Release Gross USA: $12,140,155, 28 December 2017

Personally, I found it contrived, unbelievable, and just plain stupid. Where to start? A cookie cutter "Beauty and the Beast" love story with too many holes. I never caught on to the burgeoning romance. Somehow it just fell flat for me. It was already a mediocre movie when they did that ridiculous black & white dance sequence, which was so far out of place, I lost all interest. The music and old film clips were great, but what were they thinking? Were they trying to cash in on some La La Land success? Or was it supposed be some allusion to Cinderella's ball? It would have made more sense as a dream sequence either where Hawkins had dozed off during a flick, or in the bathtub. Ew. Were the masturbation scenes really necessary? I can't see where they drove the plot. Are we supposed to believe a creature like that could or would run into a theatre, leaving a blood trail no less, without being seen by ANYONE? Then he just stands watching a film. (All the while knowing he was in danger from humans and he needed to get to water)? All this, and the projectionist doesn't notice? Where are the film patrons? How'd he get IN without being noticed by anyone? An unlocked door? What would be the purpose of having a box office if you're going to leave an access door unlocked? Are we supposed to believe that the creature, being so sick and weak that he must be released immediately, suddenly has superhuman strength after some strange (and inexplicable) resurrection event following his "death"? And are we supposed to believe that you could pull a full grown man via a bullet hole in his cheek? (You'd rip right through.) Are we supposed to believe that the best friend wouldn't have freaked out about the coitus? In her eyes, wasn't it more an animal. At the very least, one would expect her to broach the subject of pregnancy. How did those two remain standing in the bathroom? The force of the water would have carried them out. If it was pressing that much on the door, the window should have blown. Why didn't Richard Jenkins appear to grieve at all regarding his cat? And why? Oh WHY? Couldn't they just release him directly into the ocean immediately, rather than wait for the locks to fill. I mean the water was RIGHT THERE. They could have made a bath in the back of the van, and just got him to the coast. On and on I could go, but I'm done with my rant.

Save your money. If you want dumbed down fantasy get the Hallmark channel. At least you know you're getting purely pleasant drivel, instead of wasting your money and being grossly disappointed.
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Disappointing Twaddle
adamk-214 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This has absolutely so much going for it - beautifully filmed, with a magnificent, sweeping score and a stunning performance from Sally Hawkins - but crashes and burns in sentiment, cliché and cartoon supporting acts. It comes across, ultimately, as a cack-handed mash up of "E.T.", "Splash" and "The Creature From the Black Lagoon", as an aquatic man is captured and brought into a secret military American laboratory in the 1960s at the height of the cold war, and Sally Hawkins' mute cleaner develops a bond with it and, ultimately, falls in love.

Sounds interesting, doesn't it? It certainly has potential, but if the sassy black friend, constantly yammering on about her feckless husband (Octavia Spencer, surely tiring of this kind of role) doesn't get you, or the inefficient gay neighbour/best friend (Richard Jenkins - not his finest two hours) or Michael Shannon's cartoonish, 2D villain, then stay tuned for the ghastly black-and-white fantasy dance number, in which Hawkins and the creature cavort on an elaborate set like Astaire and Rogers. It truly is a ghastly mis-step, jaw-droppingly stupid. The film never really recovered for me, and it lumbered to its predictable climax and ending with numbing melodramatics and sentiment.
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BiiivAL5 June 2018
As the director of the highest class, Guillermo del Toro showed himself at the beginning of his career when he happened to put a charming Chronos and truly frightening "Mutants", which allowed the Mexican master to gain a foothold on American soil and continue further creative research. Each film del Toro, whether it be frightening mysticism, horror or screen adaptation of a graphic novella, has a powerful emotional charge, profound reasoning and breaking any barriers by the power of love, to which the director has a special relationship. Invariably putting his hand to writing the script, the director does everything necessary for the veil of special effects to reveal the true feelings between intelligent creatures who understand the true value of relations between loved ones. For del Toro, it is not important what kind of love grows in his paintings. It can permeate the relationship of a man and a woman, or vice versa, have a strong kinship. Value has only a manifestation of its essence in all sensual beauty. And then even the most impenetrable gloom retreats to the side, leaving only light on the review, which it is not possible to overcome other feelings. "Hellboy", "Labyrinth of the Faun", "Crimson Peak" and other author's achievements del Toro always attracted special attention from the audience. When the director could bypass the intrusive attention of producers, a truly unforgettable show comes from under his hands. The same is the "Form of water", a rich, catchy and at the same time delicate work that keeps us in suspense until the very end.

So, the plot of the film unfolds in the early 60s of the last century and introduces us to the silent cleaning lady Eliza Ezpozito (Sally Hawkins), who managed to get a job in a secret government laboratory. Having found herself far from the city noise and a society that she can not accept the way she is, Sally is sitting out at work all day long and tries to do everything necessary to avoid paying too much attention to her. And let the work with the mop and buckets do not bring her special pleasure, the heroine finds time to delve into her own thoughts and create in the imagination a wonderful world in which no one else can penetrate her. Having no close friends, much less a lover, Eliza tries to look for joy in sheer little things and for a long time nothing foreshadowed the rapid development in her personal relationships, when suddenly the girl seems to know the most important secret around which the secret laboratory's activities are built. It turns out that under the care of the sinister Colonel Strickland (Michael Shannon) is a sensible amphibian (Doug Jones), an unknown creature trapped in a closed reservoir and amenable to constant experiments. Accidentally meeting with the marvelous creature with a glance, Eliza suddenly realizes that this meeting is far from accidental and it is quite possible that a feeling arises between it and the amphibian, which can not be designated otherwise than love. And when it becomes known that the underwater guest faces a deadly danger, Eliza will not sit aside, since for the first time in her life she has found a soul mate and is ready to sacrifice everything for the sake of her salvation. "The shape of the water", undoubtedly, stands out with special importance against the background of the other works of Del Toro, since it was born at the moment when its creator had already visited the peak of universal adoration, and then dabbed the reputation with ambiguous projects and decisions that called doubts. But for all his creative mistakes Del Toro not only did not lower his hands, but became only a more perspicacious and skilful creator, who with each new work is put more inspired and restless. Seeing us in the world of brutal servicemen, unfortunate cleaners and innocent magical creatures, the master used the motifs of classical drama and tragedy, surprised with serious emotional strokes and was not afraid to demonstrate strong feelings with all the staging power that not only amazes but also frightens, Like a real horror film. And in order for all the elements of the "Formula of Water" to converge, Del Toro needed exceptional actors, able to revive his characters and create experiences that would not have to be doubted. Fortunately, his idea interested only in respectable performers who could easily abandon a large fee in favor of serving the arts.

Sally Hawkins, the confident and sought-after actress, who rarely trusts roles in big blockbusters, of course, became the soul of this film, but her talent and ability to get used to the images gradually becomes legendary. Agreeing to embody Del Toro's fantasies in life, Hawkins played a strikingly sensual role that attracts maximum attention and makes her soul sympathize with the tragedy of the unhappy girl's relationship with a creature from a different world. In turn, a good friend of the director, Doug Jones, was no less brilliant party to match Hawkins, and thereby allowed the actress to reveal the full range of dramatic experiences through the impeccable performance of the image of an amphibian man who caused in a dumb beauty a storm of unprecedented emotions for her. For obvious reasons, we again do not see the true appearance of Jones, but he has repeatedly performed in front of the camera a variety of strange creatures and in the "Formula of Water" reached the apogee of skill, after which it will be difficult for him to play a piercing role.

In the end, I want to say that the "Form of Water" tells us a love story that is simple and yet unprecedentedly beautiful and soulful. Guillermo del Toro shot the film the way he himself wanted and thanks to this "Form of Water" looks like a really chic authoring film.
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The Sad Shape of Moviemaking
lbenot22 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
While the basic premise of this King Kong-ish plot, the lead acting (with the exception of the stereotypical and WAY overplayed villain), and the recreation of the 60's time period are all somewhat worthy (three stars worth), there are many oddly-forced and clunky scenes all of which impede the storytelling flow and represent a serious distraction: Gratuitous gore (rotting fingers, headless kitty), homosexual innuendo, masturbation, a bathroom that will hold 7 feet of water by simply closing the door and putting a towel under it, inter-species love at first sight sexual attraction and off-screen consummation, and a Saturday-Night-Live-like song and dance skit (?), among several others.

Even with the love-conquers-all 'happy ending' and a beautifully depicted submerged in water embrace final scene,' overall it doesn't digest well.

P.S. The shill-like adoration of just the titles alone (!) of most of the 10/10 user ratings for this film are absurdly hilarious, their effusively giddy text even more so.
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Bloody Weird
rioplaydrum18 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
G. Del Toro has been frequently fawned over as a 'masterful story teller'. I found nothing 'masterful' about it. I absolutely could not hook in to this film. It made no logistical sense at all. It also had a dark and cartoonish feel to it like a Bat Man film.

The setting in which the story takes place is deeply flawed. Eliza (the dumb one), and Zelda (Octavia Spencer) work as cleaning ladies in a so-called top secret facility when there seems to be nothing top-secret about it.

The cleaning pair wander at will throughout the facility and discover it's also 'top-secret' biological specimen with no clearance at all. Right.

And low and behold, the biological specimen is none other than the Creature from the Black Lagoon! This time in living color and many upgrades.

One might also notice Octavia Spencer is appearing in every other bomb out of Hollywood as a supporting actress and nothing more. Maybe in ten years they'll give her one of her own movies. Not holding my breath.

Back to the Creature. We'll call him Creatch for short. The homely Eliza has a strict routine of hard boiling eggs while she masturbates furiously in her bathtub every morning. Eliza is fundamentally scared to death of normal men. She then brings the food to Creach, which she eventually falls in love with.

Creach is super duper intelligent and can instantly learn English, American sign language and writing, but likes to savagely dine on the occasional domesticated cat here and there. Right.

Creach also has super powers. He can almost instantly heal bodily wounds, as well as restore hair to a bald man. Alright, that one small bit I found pretty cool, but that's it.

Eliza eventually decides to kidnap Creach, for his own good, so she can turn him loose into the ocean just one step ahead of Russian Agents who have infiltrated the facility for the soul purpose of killing him. Again, not a very top-secret organization.

Shortly after that, Eliza and Creach begin having sex. That's right. An otherwise normal woman gets it on with a humanoid looking fish that looks like it dried out in the oven too long. Happens all the time I guess.

The two subplots involving a sadistic head of security and an alcoholic neighbor who works as a graphics artist are barely even worth mentioning.

And the ending? Beyond impossible.

This story is strictly reserved for the over-emotional, over-romantic, and completely naïve.

Go see it if you really want to, but you have been warned.
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jellejeremiah3 April 2018
Typical for a beautiful movie to be underrated by most people. The difference in meta and user score was to be expected.

In my experience, this movie was captivating from the first scene and ended on a high note, with a simple frame, music and quote. Del Toro takes you on a journey, that never goes full-blown fantasy. The minor details in both film and music are sublime. It really brings the story to life. In my opinion, this is one of those movies that don't need any questions. You have to experience is.

Perhaps it is a story that is only enjoyable for people that daydream. The ambiance and message are set up in a way, a hopeless romantic could feast on for days. Seeing as most Hollywood movies are complete rubbish, this one really shows what a movie is capable of. Bringing the love of a celebrated director on screen. Go see this movie!
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Empty, shallow and cheap
guy-1959 April 2018
Kafka once wrote: "There is hope, but not for man...". If the sate of man is such that The Shape of Water receives an Oscar for 'Best Picture', then really, to me, all hope is lost.
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Self-congratulatory and Gratuitous Despite Technical Triumph
OtherShipwrecks4 February 2018
Del Toro's gift for effective story-telling cannot be denied. However, the film plays perfectly into mainstream Hollywood sensibilities, does not have a profound artistic vision, and fails to challenge the audience in any meaningful way. It has the quintessential villain in the liberal cultural imagination today - a racist, sexist, ableist, psychopathic white man in the 60s. He lives in a bourgeois suburban neighborhood and has the quintessential white nuclear family. The fact that he is made to exhibit psychopathic behaviors is of course a way to obscure the irreducibly cultural, structural, and political conditions that the film purports to problematize. The equally cut-and-dry story is about people living at the margins of society bonding over their mutually subjugated status. The self-congratulatory moralistic undertone of this film suspends any need for serious cultural reflection. Shown to conservatives, the film is unlikely to have any converts to progressive politics. Shown to liberals, it will only confirm their pre-established identitarian convictions. Sprinkled with some gratuitous violence, it is the perfect candidate for the Oscars - a polished, glib, pandering, ostensibly radical fairy tale that ultimately does not have any enduring contribution to an already mediocre culture.
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fred_nothingimpossible16 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I have seen tons of crap movies, believe me, but none of them is bad enough to make me register an account on IMDB just to write a review. But after watching this, I have the urge to express my utterly disgust. Thank you, Del Toro, for that, by the way.

The movie is simply stupid. The storyline is deeply flawed. The only thing the movie challenges the audience is our intelligence. Well i do not expect a Hitchcock movie, we can accept flaws here and there as long as it does not affect the story and fits the characters. But the movie is self contradicting and the characters behaviors are so bizarre it is just so intelligently insulting. So a cleaning lady can steal the "most valuable asset" from the "top secret facility" which is only guarded by on single soldier and does not even have a moving vehicle to chase after the invaders. They can just park the van downstairs for three or four days and no one thinks about looking for the van. Actually there is no one looking into this at all. From beginning to the end there is only the bad villain alone who is not doing anything but stay in the office and interrogate the cleaning ladies, only after 48 hours he thought about talk to the doctor who refused to kill the monster in the first place. Is this US military? It's easier than rob a bank. If i were Elisa, I'll go rob the Fed. But Elisa is not so smart, she made up the entire plan without thinking about how to unchain the fish dude without a key. And please what is the point of keeping the weaking, dying fish dude in ur home? Waiting to be discovered? Come on, Baltimore is by the sea!! There is literally a dock in the city center. Okay so you want to have sex with him, can you please do it at the back of the van on the way to Mexico? And the police ( ya, still no sign of military) showed up when the government officer died and they watched the suspect left? On and on i could go but i think you get the point.

Let's look at the characters, as a "romantic love" story, you did not explain to me how the lady fell in love with the fish dude? Are you telling me because she's a minority, and "he" is a minority, so the director thinks it needs no further explanation for her to fell in love with the fish? How did she overcome the fear of his monster looking? How did he understand her? Or it's just her sick, petty love makes her thinks he understands and loves her? There are many ways to show and build up the emotions but the director shows none at all! And is it just me that find it super weird that the lady did not show any form of gratitude, not even an attitude, to her friend at all? It's just so inhuman and fake.

The dialogue is also a disaster.Choppy and facetious, they tried to say something sounds smart and deep but actually just irrelevant and award. Like the "universe" thing coming from the general, what is that about? And there are so many random scenes that just make me question the ability of the director. What's the point of showing the doc realising the russian agents are plotting against him when in the end he stills shows up like there's nothing wrong??? Who cares about the villian buying a car from a random salesman(who seems to be the only smart man in the show) and not like talking when banging his wife? What is the point of all this?

As for the cinematography, esthetics effect, etc, there is nothing to talk about. I don't find it "touching" or "romantic" in any single way. The costume on the fish dude looks like just some random monster from a superhero movie, not even the carefully designed big boss, but those minions who are ready to be smashed by the HULK. I feel deeply disappointed that such a film could win the academy. So it has the elements of minority, LGBT, african americans, protecting the environment, evil russians and selfish government, so it must win??!

As a conclusion, i feel insulted by the director and the academy. Its winning lowered the average IQ of the entier Los Angeles.
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Absolute crap.
kalexander-7099325 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I was really excited to watch this as I had heard it was at least nominated. Now all I wish is to have those two hours of my life back. I do agree that the movie had a very original story line, but I was disturbed and completely let down. The movie was very slow moving and boring. For the most part it was very predictable just like every other romantic movie. What disturbs me is this movie was meant to be set in a time where homosexuals and people of colour weren't accepted to society yet somehow, and this astounds me people were fully accepting with the fact that she falls in love and has sex with a fish! After finding out it won 4 awards i no longer trust that people know a good movie when they see one. Overall, it was a waste of my time and I would never recommend it to a friend, in fact I would only recommend NOT seeing it.
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bizarre and boring
simonekim19 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This is not a good movie. It's not well written. It's not well paced. It's not entertaining. I had high expectations in this movie, being Oscar winner and by Del Toro and all. But unfortunately it turned out to be a massive on screen disaster and frown fest, a big mess. It starts beautifully though with a nice underwater intro. The it's only getting worse. We see the daily morning routine of the mute cleaner who strangely reminds us of a sad and disturbed version of Amélie, Del Toro maybe had in mind a similar quirky, sensitive and charming character. Something went terribly wrong. The cleaner has a gay artist neighbour and a bestie at work, played charmingly by Octavia Spencer, unfortunately her role is just a stereotype of the slightly overweight, loyal side kick with a heart of gold. Then we meet the antagonist, played by Michael Shannon, another stereotype, white male sadistic mean pervert military guy with a heart of stone. Yaaawn. The fish man the cleaner falls for is basically the creature from the black lagoon. Why does the cleaning lady start having romantic feelings for the black lagoon creature? Because he can't speak either and they both like boiled eggs, so they have something in common, perfect match, ok? Does Del Toro really believe lonely women at a certain age are that desperate? Del Toro uses same filters and production design as in Hellboy. The background is America in the 50s with style and music reminding not only console players strongly of Fallout or Bioshock. The ballroom scene in black and white is from the Artist. There is no original good idea in the movie, we've seen it all before, but better. Why did it get Best Film Oscar? Maybe there is deeper political reason for this, I have no other explanation. I don't recommend this movie to anyone. Save your precious time and money and avoid this mess!
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The Shape of Water is simply an aqua flop...
James_Denton3 April 2018
Perhaps the most baffling moment from the recent Oscar awards was not so much The Shape of Water being the most-nominated film during the night, but actually winning the following 4 categories:

  • Production Design
  • Original Score
  • Director
  • Best Picture
"Stranger things have happened" some say, but not that much stranger. I'm starting to think 'professional' film critics are taking leave of their senses lately, as they too also rave about this nonsensical, illogical and poorly conceived idea of a motion picture.

Mute girl falls in love with a non-speaking, semi-aggressive aqua-man whom the American government from the 1960's are keen to study for the usual purpose of national dominance.

With the exception of the rather unusual setting, there is really very little to like about it. Audiences will balk at the romance scenes between the two characters... and the only saving grace comes from Michael Shannon, who plays the government agent determined in finding out what they can from their captive.

One is simply left wondering... when this film was presented to those who make them, did no one say, "whoa.. slow down there a moment Tonto, this isn't a good idea."

.... well, judging by the baffling Oscars wins clearly not.
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An Unnecessary Exploitation
desdenova6 March 2018
The whole movie is an unendurable combination of cliches that don't add up or become interesting at any point. The discretely repeated attempts at delivering overused social messages makes it even worse. Even those messages are shallow in content, irrelevant to the movie and extremely unoriginal just as the story itself. I hoped during the movie that it would get better at some point but it went just worse. For those who are aware of these issues this is just a pretentious attempt and for the rest they don't care or won't get that message from a movie like this one.

I witnessed one of the worst movies of all times. You can't blame a movie for receiving an award but this clearly shows the demise of the movie industry as such movies can be produced and nominated and awarded just because of the exploitation of the social issues, and juries getting revenge and amplify the message with their own means. Engineering the marketing of overrated films became the norm.

Oscar winning motion pictures often became classics now they are not even worth a second view. This one doesn't even deserve to be watched.
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Just one question
photographerjimmy9 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Just one honest question. If you watched the film, just reverse the roles. Female creature and male dumb average looking guy. Do not change anything at all. I rest my case.

Now after the idea above, where how disgusted you will feel on the idea of a male masturbating man kidnapped a female fish girl, something about the film.

The film does takes you away from reality and as soon as you start enjoying the film the story slaps you on the face with something completely irrelevant and shock(still irrelevant). Over the top villain, the research, the stupidity ( if you think its a Russian spy who can stay in the water for so long and does not look like understand anything, just keep it in captivity), the finger , the overuse of painkillers where at one point the infection is so bad that he pulls the finger off but dont feel the pain, the waiting of the tide , instead of going directly to the nearest open sea they took him home, loves the humans but kills the cat( to my logic cat and human both are food for him), bath scene of holding water where water supply was more than the leak to fill the bathroom up temporarily, fishman sudden discovery of immense power and healing and converting a human to fishgirl but in lab just enough to bite off a finger? so means less than a dog, lead girl brainy enough the plan someone smuggle out of top secret lab but not enough to find a sea spot for him to immediately escape in open waters. Basically she was just a pervert who wanted the creature for her own pleasure but just couldn't get to it. At the end when she was shot, I felt happy and relieved. I even wanted him to carry on shooting to make sure she is dead. I could scream but not in anger or pain or intolerance but in disgust that films like this are rated above 7 somehow and when you watch it its no more than .75.
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The flaw of the year!
terranovamd-946114 April 2018
The more I try to find some kind of justifiable meaning and relevance, the more I find it a loopy, dull load of drivel.
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OMG so awful.
celtic4518 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Perhaps the worst movie I've ever seen. The writing was awful, the idea was awful, the flow was awful. It was shot like a surreal farce with this candy cane music throughout that just made it even more unrealistic than it already was. If it isn't bizarre enough to be about a cleaning lady that falls in love with the creature from the black lagoon, then it got even worse. At one point she ends up dancing and singing with the creature in some kind of Broadway musical! What? Could never take any of is seriously and could never get into it not just because of the weird premise but because of surreal overall production and dialogue and goofy music. Awful.
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Real love under unreal circumstances.
damian-fuller24 December 2017
To communicate or not to communicate. Sometimes is just out of fear that we don't come close to the ones who can give us exactly what we need. They're different, let's stay away. Sally Hawkins in a magical but beautifully real performance invites us to try, to dare. Guillermo del Toro takes us through the paces with extraordinary delicacy and clarity of vision. Thank you.
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Just let yourself be transported to the era and into the story...
sphillips0521 March 2018
I am very surprised at all the haters of this movie. I had heard so many awful reports about it. How it didn't deserve the Academy Award etc. The only thing I hadn't heard was what the film was about. So I parked my cynicism for a couple of hours and I was not one bit disappointed. I loved the whole story, predictable maybe but so what? It was beautifully shot, narrated and portrayed. I felt with the characters and for the characters. It made me feel like I was 10 again and watching ET for the very first time. I absolutely LOVED it. Do yourself a favour and make up your own mind about it. Don't be swayed by opinion because it is a very personal storyline. You may just love it, you may just hate it but either way, you will never get the two hours back anyway!
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A breath of fresh water
cddesigns23 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Few filmmakers have the ability to present a story in a way that is unmistakably unique these days, in the swirling miasma of cookie-cutter movies that are exhaustingly predictable and rely heavily on pyrotechnics and CGI to make up for the lack of heart. But Guillermo del Toro fills The Shape of Water to the brim with a genuineness rarely seen.

Set in 1960's Baltimore, this story is a bit Romeo and Juliet, a bit Beauty and the Beast, except in this instance the beast is the one that appears outwardly normal. A mute custodian with a case of curiosity killed the cat syndrome (Sally Hawkins) becomes entangled in a tug-of-war between American and Soviet government powers after she discovers a creature being held hostage by the facility she works at, and her endlessly kind heart won't allow herself to let them use it as their pawn. The villain of this story, Strickland (Michael Shannon), proves to be one of the most complex characters. He serves up no shortage of the aforementioned beastly qualities, projecting his frustrations of his failings as a man and subsequent own self-hatred on everyone around him in a variety of ways. Torture, intimidation, emotional manipulation, racism, verbal and physical abuse and sexual harrassment are all employed by him, even a lack of basic hygiene is displayed as he fails to wash his hands after urinating in the first scene the audience is properly introduced to him. Despite all this, del Toro and Shannon still manage to make it clear that while this character wields a considerable amount of power, we get quite clearly the feeling that he is also powerless - a sad, joyless man with a lack of connection to his family and a lack of any kind of fulfilling relationships in his life, grasping at threads of power in the hopes of catching one and somehow finding the innate sense of pride and worth he has always been searching for. People respond to him out of fear rather than out of respect. He is a puppet of the system, under the thumb of greater authority and he knows it. It fills him with a rage that he takes out on anyone who either earns - or doesn't earn - his ire.

Elisa (Hawkins) shines with a genuinely heartfelt performance. Meek and often terrified of the brutality she sees around her, but also tough in her own way, the audience will find it difficult not to like her. Entirely without verbal dialogue, Hawkins is successful in portraying the kind spirit, gutsy strength and quirky personality of Elisa. Likewise, her screen partner The Asset (Doug Jones) delivers a very convincing portrayal of a creature that's not quite man and not quite animal. He moves in a unique way that is signature to Jones but yet has a quality (and statuesque figure) also reminiscent of the god that some of the film's characters wonder if he is. Zelda (Octavia Spencer) and Giles (Richard Jenkins) are the perfect kind of kindred spirits, with Giles being a realist and Zelda being motherly at the appropriate times that Elisa needs them to provide that for her. Like her, they share qualities that render them "imperfect" in the society of the time; Zelda is a woman of colour, Giles is gay, and all of them have a greater than average sense of empathy.

Particularly and curiously impressive is the way opposing elements in this film fit so perfectly together - drama, horror, comedy and even whimsy-filled musical routines all somehow work in harmony with each other in a way that feels very natural. The fairy-tale elements are balanced carefully with the more adult aspects of the story, so while there are certainly some tear-jerking and frightening moments, viewers still leave at the end with a feeling of magic and inspiration. Plausible and implausible scenes and elements work so well together that the audience can easily accept the story for what it is.

The only real criticism to put forth is that the development of the relationship between Elisa and The Asset is patchy - we see snippets of their admiration for each other growing, but then it seems to take a leap between friendship and deeper intimacy that the audience feels a bit left out on. The film follows Strickland and Giles' characters more closely as far as interpersonal relationships go, something that the film could have used more of for greater development of Elisa's character and deeper understanding from the audience of how much she has really suffered. The character of The Asset is never truly developed either - however, this may be very intentional as del Toro stated in previous interviews that the creature represents something different to everyone. Perhaps it is up to the viewer to decide what he represents for them. In some ways, this renders the character an eternal victim - always being used for something by someone. For governments, a weapon; for Giles, an artistic muse; for Strickland, a punching bag to offload his anger onto; and for Elisa, a recipient for her love and intimate desires. Although the creature reciprocates her affections, we can't shake the fact that he never really initiates them, just follows suit, leading one to wonder what decisions he would make in that matter (or any) if he had the freedom to do so.

With all its complex beauty and freshness, The Shape of Water is a must-see for those wishing to experience a film that's truly new, and to feel the true soul that comes forth in it.
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Beautiful fairy-tale
aleabodo20 March 2018
I don't really know where to start. This movie is in my top 5 favorite movies! This movie is an artwork. I will tell you why:

Very outstanding is the writing. Things happen fast but they are always written in a very elegant way so that it never seems jumpy. Emotional dialogs and very beautiful turns in the plot. What I liked the most about the writing is the character development. Very different characters but they all fit well together to tell that story. It is very easy for the audience to immerse into the story and identify oneself with nearly all of the characters.

I also really liked the music that makes you feel time travelling back in time and feel all the moments first hand.

To conclude, this is a very elegant and beautiful fairy-tale that is definitely worth watching. It is a new type of love and friendship story that makes you laugh, cry and hate together with the characters.

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Overrated. Politically correct is all.
vivaciouscontent8 April 2018
Moral ambiguity. Challenging questions. Debate-sparking presentations. That's what Guillermo Del Toro was good at! None of that are in this film. The whole time, I felt as if I was watching a political propaganda about how one should treat minorities or people of a different race. Although I value such political positions, that was not why I wanted to watch a film! I wanted to watch, experience, and immerse myself into a work of art. Not a fleshed-out, philosophically vacuous, overrated, overinflated, oversaturated propaganda! As a result, although the visuals are striking in a Guillermo-esque fashion, the subtlety, the richness, and the cerebral philosophy of what was very much entrench in Guillermo's earlier works are all gone. Truly a pity.
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Really? Best picture oscar????
javier-913 April 2018
What a stupid story!!! Unbelivable!! I have no words!!! It could be a (bad) fairy tale for children if there were not sex scenes.
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A monstrously powerful fable about love and loss where plot simplicity, narrative depth and artistic beauty are unified and glorified
pipecax15 April 2018
Without false decorations, there is no doubt that "The Shape of Water" is an eye-catching drop-dead gorgeous masterpiece, Del Toro's last Magnum opus is a eerie and charming homage to ordinary-people-do-extraordinary-things stories and, without hyperbolizing my extreme love for this filmmaker- although that's just the truth -his film is one of the most clever, stirring and visually handsome experiences, a deeply moving and impressive modern-cinema classic, an artistically perfect, beautifully acted, directed and scripted impossible-love movie that I have seen in my whole life.

For the most stringent movie-buffs, like me, the first thing coming to light when the screening is over is that the script has many plot holes, namely, neither it provides minimal explanation about how or why was the creature created, nor uses scientific technicalities or the peripheral problems of the main role, the supporting characters or the time in which it's developed; the film simply doesn't walk around and to enjoy it is necessary to understand it in the way its director wants: As a story about monsters in which love and loss, as a whole, play the greatest roles.

This film allows executing extraordinary tours de force for two members of the cast. Year after year, the great Michael Shannon surprises more and more. His Richard Strickland is voracious, egomaniac, magnetic and terrifying; this performance is made by real quality, portraying a man oppressed by machismo, greed and power, possibly a reflex that reconciles in a good way with the mess of sexual and labor harassment that has begun to be strengthened in recent months, an epitome of all those monsters with ties and contacts that simply require and cancel. On the other side of the coin, the second monumental performance lies, of course, on the shoulders of Sally Hawkins, getting that a mute lady gains a powerful label, not a new icon of female overcoming or anything by style, a sign of love, faith, and freedom.

Del Toro keeps doing his job excellently, selecting a top-notch artistic team. Flick after flick, story after story are strongly driven by an overwhelming visual tidiness, leaving out genre or purpose, it's a tradition that each of its motion pictures means sublimity in creative fields. His newest work could be placed on the top of the podium. "The Shape of Water" is what it's thanks to the hard work put on it, a feat that must be recognized and praised. Dark colors and lack of brightness are trademarks, each scene uses the global tonality in order to encompass throughout the film the feeling that the filmmaker wants the spectator to get. While in the opening sequence prevails a gloomy green color in the water, in the later set-pieces you can appreciate green olives, pale whites, yellowish and greenish blues that give shape to the idea. In addition, such colors are also applied to costumes, makeup, staging and visual tricks, supported by an ideal and particularly opaque illumination that denotes a quietly beautiful time. Pictures are flawless. Its cinematography embellishes key scenes and the ingenious approaches switching from one scene to another use old-school techniques that Del Toro frequents, and here get a new level of complexity and intensity, simply outstanding. Alexandre Desplat is also an important piece in the puzzle, he plays again a role of issuer of emotions by means of sound, through a work that surely will give him besides an enormous recognizing, satisfaction and pride for becoming one of the most requested Hollywood composers.

Guillermo Del Toro's "The Shape of Water" is a devastating experience, not due to its subtle horror moments, its entertaining material or its mischievous comic sense, but simplicity and delicacy with which this filmmaker treats his invention, a work brimming with gold qualities that are not created by film-romantic traditionalism, the core purpose is a message about loss and happiness, because this, in many cases, means love, and that's precisely the meaning of the movie title. In its entirety, water may never be contained, water is amorphous, love is amorphous, therefore, its conceptions are entirely immeasurable. It's one of the best years for Mexico in the American industry thanks to "Coco" and "The Shape of Water", it's also time to remunerate all the contributions for cinema made by this peculiar filmmaker. While some people give him millions of dollars and little gold men, we, the dreamers and most loyal followers, give our deepest respect, admiration and gratitude, becoming, at least personally, a true role model.
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