Ultimately, love transcends all forms…
From writer/director Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water is truly his magnum opus as we get a piece of cinema that transcends genre giving us something that allows the monsters in all of us to embrace what we need and what makes us truly human.
Set in the backdrop of the cold war in a secret research facility during the 1960’s, we meet Elisa (Sally Hawkins) who works as a janitor and lives a lonely yet dull life as a mute with her best friend and neighbour Giles (Richard Jenkins) and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) that is until everything changes. A gruff and mysterious agent (Michael Shannon) joins them at their facility, in charge of a mysterious amphibious creature (Doug Jones) who’s being held in captivity for study who forms a remarkable bond with Elisa.
In a tender love letter to the creature features that he grew up with; del Toro paints a beautiful yarn of love and acceptance while still keeping us in the shadows with those things that go bump in the night. Filled with atmosphere and dripping with mood that transcends not only the emotional but the social as well in a time period that was riddled with conflict and mistrust.
Sally Hawkins provides us a master class in acting without saying a word in a performance that just goes to show you don’t need to say a word to pack a punch. The Shape of Water lets this love soar.