Geek Review: The Shape Of Water

Unlike the Founding Geeks, I don’t live in a hip, urban center like Austin.  As such, I have to wait a week or two for a lot of the artier movies that come out.

But hey, I finally got to see The Shape of Water, a movie Watson has already raved about.  Was it as good as he said?

Yes.  Yes, it was.

Del Toro was apparently inspired by The Creature from the Black Lagoon, only this time the Creature’s smitten-ness for the woman is reciprocated.

The film focuses on one Eliza (Sally Hawkins), a mute woman who lives a sad, lonely existence.  She has a cleaning job at a top secret government lab of some sort in the city of Baltimore.  Her quiet is nicely balanced by her highly talkative co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer).  The only other person she has any connection with seems to be her older gay artist neighbor Giles (Richard Jenkins).  Her life doesn’t seem to be going anywhere until one day, the lab acquires a being referred to only as an “Asset,” some kind of Amphibian Man from the Amazon River Basin (the always-phenomenal Doug Jones).  Eliza somehow forms a bond with the creature and even falls in love with it, so when she overhears a plan to dissect the Asset as part of some sort of Space Race tactic, she’s going to need the help of all her friends, plus a concerned scientist (Michael Stuhlbarg) to get it past the overzealous security man Strickland (Michael Shannon).

Del Toro has always had a generally weird vision of things, and that’s obvious here.  Hawkins is amazing considering she has to express emotions without words, and Jones is a longtime pro when it comes to that stuff, making the two a good match.  Shannon also has the whole psychotic zealot thing down pat by this point.  This was really just a delightful movie, with a few flashes of extreme violence since, you know, there is a monster in this movie.  It just might not be the most obvious one at first glance.  Ten out of ten leaking movie theaters.

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