Guillermo del Toro brings his visually stunning monster movies back to the screen with a star studded cast in his latest outing the Shape Of Water.
Sally Hawkins is the stand out actress playing a mute who grows fond for the creature that’s kept in captivity, giving an exceptionally expressive performance. The film is all about her journey, her limits, crossing those limits.
And masturbating, lots of masturbating. (watching Paddington again will never be the same)
The critics are loving the film and it’s expected to do well at the Oscars, however audiences have not been so conclusive. So it’s probably a good sign then that this will probably pip it’s rivals to a number of the big awards. (Edit: It did)
What did I think?
The film starts well, introducing you to the characters involved, the mysterious creature, the location, and enough mystery, followed by some accidents and deaths to give the viewer some suspense. A possible exploration of sexuality, otherness, power, religion but as soon as Hawkins character makes her bond with the monster, it follows the typical Hollywood formula of girl falls in love with monster/alien routine and loses all it’s uniqueness and has little to no substance. 10% anti-racism, 40% nice love story and 50% rather predictable ‘spooks have an exotic creature that they treat appallingly’ tale.
Perhaps expectations were too high, but it was almost impossible to not come out of the cinema feeling a little let down, especially when the film started so well. Lacking the intensity, tension and sheer emotional punch of pan’s labyrinth. Its more like ET meets City of the Lost Children. It was just that the whole thing lacked intensity, was a bit predictable and maybe a bit cluttered.
Final Score: 6/10