|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Original title:||The Shape of Water|
|Genre:||Fantasy, Romance, Drama|
|Direction:||Guillermo del Toro|
|Production country:||USA 2017|
|Running time:||Ca. 123 Min|
|Rated:||From 16 years|
The silent dreamer Elisa (Sally Hawkins) works during the Cold War as a cleaner in a secret high security laboratory. The work is routine, which Elisa and her colleague Zelda (Octavia Spencer) always do conscientiously. But one day she discovers a mysterious fish creature (Doug Jones) that has been classified as a dangerous experiment. Between the young woman and the being there is immediately a very special bond, which Elisa develops day by day with secret visits. But when she learns that the unscrupulous Strickland (Michael Shannon) has been ordered to kill the creature, Elisa makes a plan: She wants to save her new boyfriend and give him freedom again…
It's no secret that Guillermo del Toro has a soft spot for monster movies. He has also proven that he is very good at telling fairy tales for adults. With "Shape of Water - The Whisper of Water" he now delivers a wonderful mixture of both. Probably the most unusual love story of recent years, it is not only exciting and stirringly staged, but is also a playful, heart-warming homage to classical cinema. This can be seen not only in the fact that Elisa and her neighbour Giles (Richard Jenkins) live above an old film theatre. Del Toro also repeatedly quotes other works, especially the monster film classic "The Terrors of the Amazon" by Jack Arnold, of whose gillman the being Elisa loses her heart to remembers not only outwardly.
Doug Jones, who has been in almost every del Toro movie since "Hellboy", brings the mysterious creature to life perfectly and together with Sally Hawkins manages to make the feelings developing between the two more credible and comprehensible for the audience. If that hadn't worked, the whole movie wouldn't have worked. That's why a successful interplay between director, actors, but also camera and music is incredibly important. And since everything intertwines in a really great way, behind a fantasy façade very enchanting emotional cinema emerges, which can be understood in an original and touching way as a plea for tolerance.
At its core, "Shape of Water" is about outsiders who long for love and affection. There is Elisa, who leads a life in silence and isolation and therefore cultivates a very close relationship to her neighbour Giles, who has to hide his homosexuality in the America of the early 1960s and therefore lives lonely in his little dream world. And then of course there is still the being, which is snatched away from its actual home and is only tormented and humiliated by the men who have caught it. They all come together in the wonderful story that del Toro tells with a lot of emotion, poetry, but also with subtle humour and some tension.
From the great cast of performers, Sally Hawkins and the wonderfully nasty Michael Shannon and Richard Jenkins have to be highlighted. Jenkins succeeds in expressing the longings and loneliness of his figure, especially with his looks, which is why Giles grows very fond of a Giles. But also the once again great Octavia Spencer and Michael Stuhlbarg make this visually magical movie a real pleasure to act.
Addicted, "Shape of Water" is a bit special and won't hit the mass taste. But who can get involved in unusual and imaginative cinema fairy tales and who already liked del Toro's "Pan`s Labyrinth" should not miss this work. Absolutely worth seeing!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp