This is truly one of the most unique love stories you will ever see. It’s also one that is absolutely beautiful and mesmerizing, and once again shows us the genius of Guillermo del Toro (Pans Labyrith).
Sally Hawkins brilliantly plays Ella, a mousy, curious, gentle woman who has been mute since childhood She works the night shift as a janitor at the Occam Aerospace Research Center. The year is 1960. The place is Baltimore.
At first glance, Ella seems to be very lonely. Her only close friend is her neighbor, Giles (Richard Jenkins), and her co-worker, Zelda (Octavia Spencer). But at the same time, she never feels sorry for herself. This is a woman who loves life and takes pleasure in even the smallest of things.
One day, the Research Center receives an Asset (Doug Jones) that was discovered in one of the rivers of South America by an extremely sadistic Colonel, Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon). The Asset is actually an amphibious man who must live in water.
Ella is fascinated by the creature and one day she sneaks into the enclosure that houses him and starts feeding him hard boiled eggs and sharing music through records played on a portable turntable. In time the two of them become very close.
Strickland’s superior General Hoyt (Nick Searcy) is very interested in the creature’s biology and wants his body harvested to study it for the advancement of space travel. Meanwhile one of the center’s scientist, Robert Hoffstetler (Michael Stuhlberg) pleads with Hoyt and Strickland to let the creature live, but it’s to no avail.
Elsa overhears this and enlists her friends Giles and her Zelda to help break the creature out in order to save his life.\
What transpires next is so unexpected and so wonderful. This is an adult erotic fairytale love story filled with sensuality and great artistry. It is definitely one of Del Toro’s best films and should not be missed.
‘The Shape of Water’ opened in theaters on December 1, 2017. Come Oscar time, Sally Hawkins and Del Toro will definitely be nominated for their work.