Entertainment Earth

The Shape of Water Review

Can a merman and a woman fall in love? Can they actually have sex??? Those were my questions as I sat down and saw Guillermo Del Toro’s new opus; and without further delay, here’s my The Shape of Water review.

The film is set to open February 21 and will be distributed by 20th Century Fox Philippines. It stars Doug Jones (Hellboy), Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Michael Shannon (Man of Steel, Midnight Special) and Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures, The Help, Zootopia).

These days it can be difficult to get a good dose of adult fairy tales what with everything wanting to be this or that. It’s a comforting thought to know that in the world of posers and fakers, there will always be Guillermo Del Toro movies that continue to be the gold standard in adult fairy tale films and sensibilities.

This was true for Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth and was certainly true even with Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. And now we have The Shape of Water which features Sally Hawkins as the mute but kind-hearted Elisa while Doug Jones is a captured “Amphibious Creature”. Who meet, fall in love and reach the ending of the movie (whether unscathed or not, that’s something you need to know by watching the movie).

There’s a lot of themes that this movie explores. There’s the inversion/ subversion of the whole “Human Being and Being Human” or “Love Conquers All” or love as a means to communicate. Del Toro also examines through his shots and writing, the 1960’s culture and the Cold War as well as how deep a country can go to outrace or outsmart one another (case in point film version USA and Russia).


In this The Shape of Water review, let’s first take a look at the some of the themes presented in this movie. We got the whole “Being Human/Human Being” played throughout the movie whether its that conversation between Giles and Elisa about her not having a voice making her less human. Or the inhuman treatment “Merman” gets at the hands of Michael Shannon’s Richard Strickland all throughout the movie.

I did like the way they presented the theme of love in this movie. Whether its love between friends, intimate love even self-love, it all gets nicely depicted here. Even spurned love with pints of prejudice are also clearly depicted in the movie. More importantly it’s love that transcends the boundaries that will make an impact to viewers. That’s pretty powerful stuff, something that fairy tales deliver at the basest.

References and Styles

Before I round up this The Shape of Water review, I want to commend the production team for providing such an awesome look and feel for the movie. The costumes the music, the cars everything felt like it belonged to the proper decade. And while we’re on the subject of decade, I gotta tip my hat for that not-so-subtle moment between Elisa and the Creature where they dance and sing. Man, you don’t do classics like that anymore.

Oh and I have to just put down in this review that the costume design for the Merman/ creature was awesome. So much realism to this water god, Guillermo Del Toro sure knows his monsters and beasties.

There’s also bits of sexual content and nudity here. If you’re easily offended by these things in movies, I just gave you a warning. Still, no penetration, nothing graphic, those scenes were beautifully rendered. I sincerely doubt you’ll get turned on by that scene too.

The Shape of Water Review – Verdict


The Shape of Water opens February 21 from 20th Century Fox Philippines.

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