This rendition of the beauty and the beast tale, pairs a mute janitor with a captive swamp monster. Bathed in an oversaturated color palette, the movie looks and plays like a comic book where the characters have no free will and are mostly representational, including the bible thumping villain, who (for no needed reason) also makes a perverted sexual move on our protagonist.
Del Toro's decision to make the heroine mute is so that she can learn to communicate with the creature via sign language. If you stop to think about it , you don't need to be speechless in order to communicate with hand gestures. Just imagine all the things that Eliza would say to the creature if she could speak, Maybe she could even make a couple of jokes, which would be a blessing to this rather humourless enterprise. There is a greater feeling that Eliza is made mute. cause she needs to be vulnerable and sympathetic.
The romantic relationship feels rushed and has no shape, in fact the whole movie feels a good half hour shorter than it should be. It's possible that Del Toro came under studio pressure to fit the story into two hours, but as a result, certain important devices like Eliza's strange sexual fetish are barely illuminated.
It is bewildering that a del Toro movie could have a creature as boring as this one. The texture is there, but the character is not. Bland in personality and largely inanimate, his primary function is to be a love interest, in a love story that is hard to relate to. Admirable set decoration is the only highlight of the movie.