‘The Shape of Water’ Is A Fantastical Masterwork: Part 2 (Movie Review)

The Shape of Water Movie ReviewThe Shape of Water had me very curious.  It’s not because it’s brought to you by the masterful mind of Guillermo del Toro, but it’s because of our resident MPAA certified reviewer, Sir Aaron Neuwirth.  He gave it an overwhelming 5 doggies out of 5 doggies over here.  Truth be told he doesn’t hand out that kind of praise for a film very often.  In fact he even went as far as to call The Shape of Water a “Fantastical Masterwork,” hence the continuation of the title here.  His movie review was also tweeted like none other here on the site before even by the del Toro man himself.  If memory serves me correct, he has already seen this one three times too so I felt incredible pressure to at least see it once.  Therefore, that’s why I am here folks plus the fact that the trailer (provided below) looked freaking phenomenal.  Let’s get started!

The Shape of Water Movie Review

I already spilled the beans up above that The Shape of Water is brought to you by master story teller, Guillermo del Toro, but what I didn’t tell you about yet is the fantastic cast that brings this tale to life.  It includes the likes of Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg and Doug Jones.  I don’t think I even need to embellish.  Those are some heavy hitting names.  Of course del Toro had some help in penning this screenplay set against the backdrop of a Cold War era America 1962.  That honor goes to scribe Vanessa Taylor.  One final thing to mention before we talk about the story here is the name of Stuhlbarg’s character here, Robert Hoffstetler.  I’m sorry, but every time I heard his name mentioned in this film I just thought of Leonard in The Big Bang Theory, but I digress.

Our story here revolves around the character of Elisa Esposito (Hawkins).  She’s a mute.  Besides her caring co-worker, Zelda (Spencer), and her starving artist neighbor, Giles (Jenkins), Elisa spends most of her life/time in isolation.  I forgot to mention she conveniently also works in facilities at a high-security government laboratory I guess you could call it.  He life is forever changed one day when she’s in the right place at the right time.  She witnesses a captured experiment so to speak brought into the laboratory and through a series of events she ultimately becomes responsible for the cleanliness of said room our creature of the hour here inhabits.  I think you know where I am going from here, but fret not it’s not all lovey-dovey as there are some nice surprises throughout not to mention some very welcomed humor and comedic moments.

The Shape of Water Movie Review

What it all comes down to here for me is the fact that The Shape of Water is an adult fantasy fairy tale brought to life.  I almost prefer to call it poetry in motion.  The story is a very simple one, but it’s execution is near flawless.  The cast, the chemistry of the onscreen characters, the threat, peril and even the comedy of all just works.  There are certain emotional and story building sequences where I wish they could have hung on a bit longer to, but for the most part it’s hard to knock on this one.  Other than those aforementioned few personal quips, which I can’t go into because of spoiler territory, I have nothing negative to say about this one.  While it’s love story may not appeal to all moviegoers it’s definitely a testament to del Toro’s finely honed storytelling craft.

Now I’m not going to lie to you.  I have never been the biggest del Toro fan.  Yes I love Pacific Rim, but some of his recent horror entries were just blah to me not to mention the Hellboy series.  Oh how I dislike the Hellboy movies.  I won’t dismiss his earlier horror films, but here’s the deal ladies and gentlemen.  Believe the hype here.  The Shape of Water is simply irresistible at times.  Not once did I doze off or even blink.  My attention span was spent making sure I did not miss a second of this feature.  It’s visually striking and beautiful, romantic, comedic, threatening and heart-warming all in one single serving.  Best of all The Shape of Water never overstays its welcome either.  I don’t want to downplay this amazing cast either.  Shannon and Jenkins are always fantastic in everything I watch, but Octavia continues her hot streak and Sally Hawkins simply amazes as the unsuspecting, innocent looking mute who falls from a creature from the lagoon.  By the way, she’s anything but and the creature looks fantastic too.  I’m just saying.

The Shape of Water Movie Review

All in all I really hope this creature feature gets some love during Awards Season.  If not for the striking visual world it paints, then at least for the performances.  Come on Hollywood!  This is one of del Toro’s finest and it deserves to be rewarded!  It’s like a Cold War version of Beauty and the Beast, albeit a more interesting one.  The best part about it is this one’s Rated R.  That means nothing’s off the table, nudity, gore, blood and F-bombs included.  How can you ask for anything more?  That’s rhetorical.  Go see this beautiful picture this weekend and support more films like this to get made.  Enjoy!

The Shape of Water Movie Review


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

  1. No Comments