I was excited to see The Shape of Water. It looked magical and bizarre. A love story between a monster that lived in water with a mute woman seemed a little far-fetched. I liked the feeling of it taking place in a 60ish time period. I wanted to see what role Michael Shannon played in the movie because he always does something interesting. The deck was stacked against the movie, but also in favor of it as I went to go see the movie.
The movie is rated R, but only for the sole purpose of nudity. This kind of struck me as I was not expecting it, especially so early on. But it really did shape the tone of the movie and really give characters, as an outsider looking in, perspective. The movie continues seemingly plainly, nothing too much out of the ordinary happens. Sure it was a beautiful movie with great set design and a magical quality to it, but it left me confused.
What I now realize is that the movie is a well of creativity that can be drawn from. At its heart is a fairy tale movie, one for adults. A market that will probably remain vacant as Disney recreates their own iconic fairy tales into live action. It's a story about not belonging in a world, a world that pushes away the different because it doesn't want to understand. A classic fairy tale with really unique characters. The main characters can't speak, so looking back, there was much more to those scenes than just silence. It operates on so many levels that it is not a movie that you can just turn your brain off an enjoy, but you don't have to analyze every little thing.
This isn't going to turn into a think piece taking apart the movie. I just want to point out that you could rightly have a much better time appreciating the movie for what it is. Overall I enjoyed the movie. I didn't pick up on everything it had to offer, but what I did experience was interesting enough to watch. I feel like my experience is the base that can only be built upon.
Yes, you should see this movie, no it doesn't have to be in theaters. With some great music and a great look it really stands out. I can see why it is so beloved by many and am hoping to see it again.