Friday, November 2, 2018

1059. The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water
Directed by Guillermo del Toro

My best friend has been trying to get me to watch this movie for ages, but I have been putting it off. I am not entirely sure why she thought I would like this film so much, and I must remember to grill her about this later. Perhaps she just knows I like cats and was trying to torture me with some of the scenes in this movie. Either way, this was not a pleasurable experience.

Elisa Esposito was found abandoned as a child by the side of a river and is completely mute. She works as a janitor at a secret government facility. She is able to communicate with her two friends, her next door neighbor and her coworker, through sign language. I am not sure how she is able to sign fluently in ASL without having received any education. Surely she would be using house signs and probably not using the ASL sentence structure. Movies really cannot get Deaf culture right. Anyway, the laboratory receives a creature from the Amazon and they of course want to do experiments on it, torture it, and weaponize it. Sally and the creature start to get...frisky with each other.

So I will admit this is a beautifully shot movie, but beyond that, I didn't find anything unique about the characters, who were all rather paint-by-the-numbers good guys and bad guys, or the story, which was a hohum story about how Deaf people can only have true connections with fish. All right, obviously I realize that wasn't the message. But I just didn't find the romance particularly compelling or believable. Apparently her neighbor did, though, and wasn't mad that she flooded his bathroom or that her boyfriend ate his cat. But hey, I'm not a romantic.

Easily skippable and I hope something will break us free from this rut soon.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

The look of the creature took nine months to develop. See, mermaids are just like humans!

The creature's design was partly based on a matador.


  1. Thanks... pleased to find someone else who was not blown away by this one. How do I have reservations about it? Let me list the ways..
    -This is perhaps an age thing, but rip-off of 'creature from black lagoon or what?
    - Or do I mean 'Beauty and the beast'?
    - Yes, flooding the entire building, and no-one was bothered. Again, OK, perhaps I'm a bit hyper-sensitive about floods.
    -Cliche and stereo-type ridden. with a rather sappy ending..
    - Plausibility.. the creature learnt ASL so quickly? OK, you may be able to reply that that showed the creatures vastly superior intellect. Fair comment.

    And that leads neatly to where I will defend what seems to be the biggest plausibility flaw aspect.
    That she and the creature could mate. I mean, is the err.. layout even compatible?
    It is heavily hinted that she is, in fact, another of the creatures herself, just in a do I put this.. human acceptable form..
    The neck scars are her hidden gills, so she didn't just magically grow them ..
    She was found near the river.. so maybe, had some survivors of the race developed a way of disguising one of their kind as a human looking child to simply survive? We know she was comfortable in water.. that was the only way she felt relaxed enough to masturbate. Which in itself suggests maybe, she had not had sex with humans, so it could well be that her configuration was not compatible.. with humans, but with the creature.
    So at least one objection solved.
    I'm starting to convince myself it was better than I first thought.
    I'd forgotten about the cat.

    You seemed, in the review, to be heavily critical, but you still ended up giving it 3, which is over half, and I could settle for that.
    If only it wasn't so heavily saccharine.. (I had to rely on spell check for that) in a rather cynical attempt to made it more a romance (hey, we can get the girlies in!) than a clever genre defying story.

    1. Well according to the movie, his...anatomy reveals itself when aroused. But yeah I thought her being a secret mermaid or whatever was kind of lame. Two people from completely different worlds can be communicate and fall in love...jk, they are the same species.

  2. I love reading your reviews and all the comments from the readers. I will pass on this one!