The Shape of Water is a 2017 fantasy film, a modern age fairy tale, a beauty and the beast retold kind of story … nominated in multiple categories at the Oscars this year. (ETA: it won in the best film, best director category!)
If that is the case, then Eliza (Sally Hawkins) unlike the beauty is more like Eleanor Oliphant, (caveat: I’ve just started to read this novel, my prognosis is strictly based on the initial description of the woman) who leads an uneventful life of routine. The director creates a fantastical world where she is a woman without a voice, she speaks in sign language, (other reviews have called her mute…) we are introduced to her early one morning when the alarm wakes her up with her eye blinds on. She begins her day with a bath in her tub doesn’t drown like Sridevi did last week, boils eggs, heads off to work at the high security lab facility, punches in, cleans, mops, sweeps the place with her co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer), punches out, returns home in a bus, spends time with her neighbour, Mr. Giles (Richard Jenkins), gets herself into bed with her eye blinds back on, and repeat.. she is something like Bartleby, Scrivener from Melville but does not stop doing what she does until the end of the story .. we walk into watery world of shadows and blues once in the film!
On one such routine day she meets the scaled sea creature (Dough Jones) kept in one of the labs under Col Richard Strickland (Micheal Stuhlbarg), she feels at home with it.. feels complete for a change.. gradually (obviously) falls in love ..
It is a narrative of relationships, between a muted Eliza and this muted human-like sea creature, Eliza and Zelda, Eliza and Mr Giles and his cats, and among all of them together when the story takes (an obvious) turn in the middle of the storyline. Along with another researcher, they form the team of nice people. Colonel Richard Strickland as you may have guessed, plays the antagonist, a corrupt official, filled with unnecessary rage & frustration. He tortures it, gets his two fingers bitten off in the process .. but hey this sea creature has powers … When it does, its body lights up in blue colour like suit of blank Panther does with vibranium ..
the story is set between these polarized sources of power in a world where water, at boiling temperature to cook the eggs, running from the taps to fill Eliza’s tub for her daily bath, rain to cool the earth, fill the canals, treated to keep the creature alive, plays a crucial role ..
I felt heavy in the head after the fim was over, there were moments I loved, but overall .. I’d never watch it again voluntarily. But the trailer is beautiful, thats how I was interested about the film..