The Shape of Water: A Film That Shaped Cinema This Year

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The Shape of Water
  • Valluri Chandra Nikitha 

This week saw the release of the award-winning film, The Shape of Water. The American fantasy drama, directed by Guillermo Del Toro that had swept many prominent and prestigious awards has finally released in India.

The excellent cinematography, an extremely unorthodox and unique story and stellar performances by the actors make this movie an absolute delight to watch. This film made the top ten list of many prominent film critics.

Even though the entire cast gave amazing their absolute best, something very clearly visible in their performances, Sally Hawkins undoubtedly steals the show, in every scene as Elisa Esposito. The film is set in a top secret government laboratory in Baltimore in the 1960’s where Hawkins’ character is a mute janitor, who uses the American Sign Language to communicate.

The film is set against the backdrop of the Cold War, during which the world was highly polarised and the USA and USSR tried to outcompete each other in every way, including technological advancement, which gave rise to the Space Race, which is the more precise context for the film.

The story is quite offbeat and unique. It revolves around Elisa and a creature brought to the lab from a South American river, which turns out to be humanoid, something that is noticed by Elisa. Elisa starts forming a strong bond with the creature, which is when the story takes a turn: It is to be cut open by the scientists to get ahead in the Space Race. To protect the creature, Elisa somehow takes the creature home and keeps it in the bathtub. The rest of the plot deals with the evolving relationship between Elisa and the creature, whose very existence is threatened by the Space Race.

Even though the concept of the story is quite unique, it is quite predictable. What makes the film absolutely spectacular is the performances of the actors, whose commitment and determination is clearly seen in the film. The film is definitely worth a watch, especially for all the Avatar fans.

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