“The Shape of Water” - An ocean of love

"The Shape of Water" tells a beautiful love story between a dumb girl and a mermaid.

"The Shape of Water"in the eyes of the love story is a love affair with a fairy tale. For others, it is a painful piece of the message of equality in the underprivileged group: foreigners, people with disabilities, women and people of color. 

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Nearly 10 years ago, Guillermo del Toro envisioned the voice of actress Sally Hawkins and her talking eyes when he rolled her wrist to the script for Elisa in the movie. But he was too shy to meet Sally and to hand her the manuscript. It was only after drinking at the party of countrymen fellows that del Toro opened up to the actress. 

What we see on the screen today may need to thank Alejandro González Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuarón very much. 

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Sally Hawkins plays a silent girl doing a sweep at a US government secret research center. Her room is in a movie theater in Baltimore. It is a volatile 60s, when the whole of America faces economic boom and automation, everything seems free and easy. 

However, it is not easy, even with a dance between Bill Robinson and Shirley Temple in "The Little Colonel." The love of Elisa and the mermaid (played by Don Jones - who used to dress up as Abe Sapien - half-amphibian creature in “Hellboy”) flourishes feelings at the first sight. 

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"He" is a sea monster from the Amazon, a beautiful and scary creature, viewed by the government as an experimental specimen. "He," in Elisa's eyes, is an intact heart that beats the beat of love. She gradually gains his trust, by the tenderness. She peels each egg, plays music and dances with the mop in the old record of Benny Goodman. Little Elisa loves the creature with all her life. 

Set in the United States in 1962, “The Shape of Water” has a classic of silent film lines that opens the heyday of Hollywood but conveys the messages of the present. The 1960s show up in American imagery about the transformation of a great country. All that people say is about the future. They drive beautiful cars, everything seems to be automated, pretty wife prepares dinner in the kitchen, in living room are two clean children. 

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But that future never comes. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, and then for several decades mired in economic downturn and expeditions beyond the ocean.. America today is no different than its world 50 years ago: the flashy exterior does not hide the problems of racism, gender inequality and, above all, the loneliness of each person. It can be said, The Shape of Water borrowed from the past to remind us of reality. 

Del Toro does not hide his admiration for the pair of French directors Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro. All in all, this is still one of the most successful films of del Toro, a project he has to cope with due to extreme weather conditions during shooting and accident on the set. Everything is rewarded, “The Shape of Water” with aesthetics and wealth in the meanings, will stay very long in the minds of the audience. 

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Like water, love does not have a specific shape because what it means is when we fall in love. The fairy tale of a princess who has fallen in love with a sea monster has closed, but as the vast ocean sinks into the viewers, “The Shape of Water” will clutter our hearts with the emotional waves of love, equality and beauty in imperfection. 

By: Scarlet Johnson

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