You could not expect anything else from a “good” Guillermo del Toro. Famous for his stories full of fantasy and “monsters“, this time he brought to light (and out of the water) a monster whose only fault is to be in the hands of the wrong people. A monster captured by the U.S. government in 1963, found in the Amazon in a river, which seemed to be worshipped as a god. The problem is that the government does not know on how to exploit this monster similar to a handsome amphibious-man. They only know that they want to throw it against the Soviet Union, or to take advantage of it in any similar way.
In the whole political/military issue that emerges, a protagonist without a voice but with a unique, kind and strong appearance strikes us and transports us with elegance and sweetness throughout the film. She’s Elise, interpreted by a formidable Sally Hawkins, part of the cleaning staff of the government offices but first of all an orphan, found when she was a child abandoned near a river. And here the water already becomes the first link between them. She abandoned herself in the water, he alone, immersed in his nature that he had never given him anyone.
A love affair between the two seems impossible and instead, Del Toro is able to find meeting points between these two people so different. The plot becomes denser and full of love when she wants to save him from the hands of the government. And Guillermo believes in love and he wants this affair to carry on. In fact, in Venice he said: “Fantasy is a very political genre and choosing Love over fear is a very political act, and our first duty when we wake up is to believe in this sentiment and not give in to cynicism. “
In the cast are called many names: Octavia Spencer (the best friend and comic relief of the film), Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon (the head of security that deals with the monster) and Richard Jenkins, who instead plays the best friend of Sally Hawkins, with whom he lives. Richard said about her: “Sally and I became friends immediately and all I have done comes from the screenplay, from what Guillermo has written. I loved the role since the first moment I read the script. It was a joy from the beginning to the end, being able to be part of a similar project at this stage of my life. I love all the cast but I really wish Sally was my daughter. “
In this case “The shape of Water” is all that surrounds and makes possible this love that seems impossible: the water that allows him to breath, where she was found as a baby, who created a connection between them but that, somehow, keeps them separated, remembering them that they are made of different matter, living in different worlds. At the same time, it is the dimension, the shape to be the protagonist of the film. The form of love that, as the film reminds us, has no size, it’s just infinite and flows in everything, like water.
“You’ll never know just how much I miss you
You’ll never know just how much I care
And if I tried, I still couldn’t hide my love for you
You ought to know, for haven’t I told you so.”
[…] awards (including Oscars): Guillermo del Toro won the Golden Lion with his The Shape of Water (here you can find our review of the film); The Coppa Volpi for the best female and male interpretation […]