“The Shape of Water”, was the winner of the Golden Lion, the highest prize at the Venice Film Festival, and one can see why. The film takes place in 1962 Baltimore, at a scientific research centre. It has the feel of a classic suspense film from the 50’s and early 60’s: old cars (Cadillac), great soundtrack (portable record player), subservient wife and villains (rugged, tall, sexist). This is not a horror film and not really a science fiction, although there is a strange monster that is found and kept in captivity, until it’s fate is decided. If you were different you were shunned. There is Homophobia, sexism, racism, anti-Semitism, and Russian spies who are lurking everywhere. And of course, the film has Russian spies, a poor voiceless woman, a lonely gay artist and people of color. The monster is real but the figurative monsters are the ones deep inside us, just for being different, having secrets or our inner fears. As a child we are afraid of monsters in our room, as an adult it is the world around us that is scary. Excellent acting by all, including Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spenser, Richard Jenkins and Michael Shannon. This 2 hour, well written, slick, original, thriller was made special by its originality and thought provoking themes.
We waited five hours for tickets and still couldn't get in. :(
It's a great film.