The Shape of Water Is A Modern Day Classic

michiganjournal.org

michiganjournal.org

Anthony Baamonde , Staff Writer

For “The Shape of Water,” outstanding decision making took center stage when Guillermo del Toro headed the project with stars Sally Hawkins and Michael Shannon.

The film centers around a mute janitor named Eliza (Sally Hawkins) who works at a military laboratory during the Cold War. The lab captures a creature down in the Amazon and is referred to as “the asset.” Eliza sneaks her way into the room where the Asset is where the two form an unbreakable bond. However, Colonel Strickland (Michael Shannon) who captured the creature tries to get in between it and Eliza. The rest of the film you’ll have to witness on your own.

I don’t throw the word ‘brilliant’ around a lot, but this movie was just that, brilliant. Del Toro’s work as the director was fabulous. The camera angles he chose and how he directed the actors were all genius. You can really tell the actors respected his decisions as they all looked like they were truly comfortable with their roles.

Hawkins stole the show, she was absolutely amazing. Playing a mute character must be incredibly difficult, but she pulled it off beautifully. The Creature (Doug Jones) was just as good. Jones and del Toro have history because he is a reoccurring suit actor in the director’s films. The effects for the Creature were stellar, I really liked the lack of CG and the use of practical effects. This made it all feel more realistic and it helped give the Creature a personality. Another thing about the Creature is that the design looks exactly like the suit used in “The Creature From the Black Lagoon” from 1954.

Although this was the first del Toro movie I saw, the way he tells his story is magical. He is so passionate about his films and the stories he creates, it’s really inspiring to see. Upon research, del Toro grew up watching old horror films of the 30s and 40s. This love for horror is what makes “The Shape of Water” so amazing. The film wasn’t just a “horror” film, except for the Creature and a few extremely gory scenes. He blended elements of horror, romance, science fiction and fantasy. His ending product was something elegant and extremely original.

“The Shape of Water” won two Golden Globes: Best Director and Best Original Score. The film is also up for 13 Oscars including: Best Actress (Sally Hawkins), Best Picture, Best Director and Best Cinematography (Dan Laustsen). The movie is deserving of all of those nominations and it has the potential to win every single one. In short, del Toro’s decision making is what put “The Shape of Water” over the top and he was simply masterful.