The Shape of Water
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro
Future Me: Oh! Look that movie I really, really wanted to see in theaters is out! It’s getting lots of awards buzz and I think I’m gonna love it.
Brain: You haven’t even watched it. Wait until you can rent it.
Me: But it’s right up my alley and I really, really want to see it!
Future Brain: Remember The Shape of Water?
Me: I’ll wait.
Spoilers below: not so much the ending but some things that happen in the film including a cat and the point in which I said- nope, no thanks!
So yeah, I really was excited to see this movie about a janitor who falls in love with a fish creature. I was spoiled for the end and that only made me more interested in it so when it became available on ITUNES I jumped. I bought. I DNF’ed with about twenty-five minutes left and might see if Apple will take it back.
And I really did think I was going to like this one.
(***This is the point where I have to put in a if you did like this more power to you. This is my opinion.)
I did like Giles (Richard Jenkins). I always like Octavia Spencer. I did like the idea of it and the look of it and the performances. So what didn’t I like?
Well, it added up. You know?
Michael Shannon’s character was the real monster in the movie. And in case you think that’s not going to be obvious there is not a whole lot there but monster. He’s a racist, sexist, bullying, abusing over-the-top piece of dung complete with rape threats. I mean seriously he could have twirled a mustache.
While I knew about the masturbation and the fish sex. I almost had to roll eyes at the fact that we didn’t even go ten minutes into the film without the nudity and masturbation and I’m sorry- I actually watched a whole dreadful movie called Frank and Lola for a little Michael Shannon love but the sex scene with his wife… Didn’t need it. I mean it kind of laid the groundwork that he dug Elisa’s silence (she’s mute) but he’d spell that out later so yeah just not necessary.
Personal mileage varies on what a person can and can’t take. I was done when the creature ate the head off a pet cat. Sad Giles cat no less. I don’t remember that being spoiled anywhere for me.
I don’t like violence against animals and I certainly don’t want to see body parts but I know this is another mileage varies thing. (The dog in Crimson Peak is a perfect example. Though now it strikes me maybe I should avoid del Toro movies in the future for this reason. I was aware of it going in. And it was mostly just the sounds of her breaking its neck I don’t think I had to see it or the body. Ugh.) I don’t even like when characters I love do stupid shit that get animals killed. Dustin is still on my shit list on Stranger Things.
Not only did the creature kill the cat he injured Giles and then took off.
Maybe, maybe I could have overlooked it but I admit by that point I was pretty bored with the movie. Didn’t care about the creature in the least after the cat murder but that leads me to probably my real problem.
I didn’t like Elisa.
She came off to me like one of those characters whose purpose is noble (although wrapped in a heaping helping of love) she was essentially going to do whatever she wanted, guilt her friends and even endanger them to get her way. There was a scene in which Giles, whose done something that could potentially get him killed for her, thinks she’s going to give him a card. Nope. She saunters off and gives it to Fish Man. Aw.
Also the scene above really annoyed me. Like she knows at that point Strickland is dangerous and she’s put her friends in danger but let’s not just stand there really obviously smirking let’s sign an obscenity at him and leave it up to Zelda to cover because poking bad bears always a good idea. Zelda also fights with co-workers because she’s covering for Elisa’s tardiness even early in the film.
I think I was supposed to find her character naive and idealistic and a fish out of water herself. But she crossed into selfish and careless to me.
I had been looking forward to this one for a while like I said so maybe that’s why it hurt so much that I disliked it so much. But I did DNF it so I’m not going to rate it. As for a recommendation. No. I wouldn’t. But I know I’m (seemingly at least on-line) in the minority on that one. I may go back and finish this one day (because leaving it undone will drive me bonkers) but I’m definitely going to exercise patience in the future and perhaps I should have listened to the friends who didn’t want to see the movie when they said they didn’t think they were going to like it.