Why is Richard Spencer cold hearted
After his mixed Gothic horror film "Crimson Peak", Guillermo del Toro is walking in his new film SHAPE OF WATER - THE WHISPERING OF WATER back on the trail of previous successes and presents what is probably the most extraordinary love story of the year. I reveal more about this in my review.
The year is 1963. We are in America, the Cold War is raging. Elisa (Sally Hawkins), a lonely and dumb cleaner, works in a hidden high-security government laboratory, locked in a life of silence and isolation. But Elisha's life changes forever when she and her colleague Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover an experiment that has been classified as secret. The unscrupulous scientist Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon) and his followers have captured a hybrid creature - somewhere between humans and monsters, equally isolated as Elisa. Fascinated by Aquarius (Doug Jones), she begins to befriend him, but the budding happiness of this unusual love is in great danger when Strickland wants to get rid of the creature again ...
With 13 nominations, Guillermo del Toro's fantasy drama “Shape of Water” leads this year's Academy Awards. Of course, there is also one in the king's category of “Best Film” - and according to various bookmakers, the story of a thoroughly extraordinary love story between man and monster does not have the worst chances of victory. In general, this year's Academy Awards are all about outsiders, outcasts and those who think differently; “Get Out” is about the Black Community, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is about a mother abandoned by the state, “Lady Bird” is about a rebellious teenage girl, “Call Me By Your Name” is about a gay couple and “Die darkest hour ”by Winston Churchill. Ultimately, all of this can also be attributed to the current state of the world, in which people who do not conform to the norm are more and more victims of exclusion - in the USA fueled not least by the Donald Trump era. The cinema with its fantastic stories becomes a glimmer of hope. "Shape of Water" is the best example of this and, despite its timeless subject matter and its location in the early 1960s, it is entirely a film of our time. It is about love, about the fight against evil and about not judging one another on the basis of outward appearances or on the basis of ethnicity. And all in the guise of a melancholy fantasy fairy tale.
Elisa (Sally Hawkins) discovers an unknown being (Doug Jones) in the laboratory, half human, half monster.
The horror drama “Pan's Labyrinth” is undoubtedly one of the best works by the native Mexican to date - not least because it doesn't just tell a crude horror story, but also deals intensively with the military repression after the Spanish Civil War. The events in the much less well-known "The Devil’s Backbone" also take place against the backdrop of the Spanish civil war, so it is hardly surprising that war plays a role again in "Shape of Water". This time, however, you never get to see him directly. Nevertheless, the mood between the armed forces, heated up by the Cold War, covers the scene like a threatening, oppressive veil, in which people take refuge in their own four walls and no longer even go to the cinema as their last place of retreat. In one of the most haunting scenes, Doug Jones escapes ("The Bye Bye Man") played water monsters in the empty hall of a movie theater and looks in amazement at the screen, on which moving images are currently playing in camera - and suddenly the omnipresent cold turns into a homely feeling of security. “Shape of Water” is not just the love story between a woman and a water creature, but also a declaration of love for the cinema; Likewise, it is primarily a matter of the fact that only those who love something (or someone) will be able to survive hours, weeks or years of horror, such as those of war.
That Sally Hawkins ("Paddington 2") The main character embodied is mute, so it is no accident - it symbolizes how powerless a single person can be in an environment that is superior to him; only when she finds a similarly ticking contemporary, who is turned towards her and who is in almost the same starting position as herself, in a spectacular musical performance, she throws all her frustration off her soul in a spectacular musical. So much symbolism would have been able to curry favor with the viewer in less capable hands, but Guillermo del Toro, who together with Vanessa Taylor ("Game of Thrones") wrote the script for the film, does not set up his work as an obvious war parable, but instead devotes himself to the burgeoning love between Elisa and the being, aside from the subtle cross-references, before he opens the narrow-minded authorities' hunt for what is alien to him in the last third Aquarius did not react in the experiments as expected. “Shape of Water” gradually develops into a real thriller (the film has earned its FSK approval from 16 not just because of the torture scenes on the monster), in which two outcast souls have to flee from their hunters. The message that the monster that looks like such a monster is not the real beast, but the one who does not accept it as a full-fledged creature, is not new in fantastic cinema, but still works in "Shape of Water" due to del Toro's sensitive staging once more so much the better.
Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon) and Dr. Robert Hoffstetler (Michael Stuhlbarg) advise how to proceed.
But Guillermo del Toro not only attaches great importance to the authentic telling of the love story. "Shape of Water" also presents itself from its best side in terms of equipment and all technical aspects. Not for nothing nominated in the categories of “Best Music” (Alexandre Desplat), “Best Production Design”, “Best Camera” and “Best Costume Design”, the filmmaker brings a world to life in which he perfectly captures the authentic flair of the early sixties. Combined with cool fantasy inserts and carried above all by Doug Jones, whose transformation into the water monster through digital technology and fabulous effect make-up was outstandingly successful, the impression arises that one would be immersed for two hours in a world that is equally realistic how fictional is. Alexandre Desplat ("Valerian - The City of a Thousand Planets") underlines the images with a playful soundscape that could not better reflect the character of the flowing water. Sally Hawkins and Michael Shannon play each other in this unique world ("Nocturnal Animals"), Octavia Spencer ("Hidden Figures"), Michael Stuhlbarg ("The Invention of Truth") and Richard Jenkins ("Kong: Skull Island") the soul out of the body. Sally Hawkins succeeds in making her silent figure into an equally fragile and resolute woman with just gestures, while Michael Shannon has internalized the figure of the cold-hearted, brutal adversary. Octavia Spencer pleases as Elisa's amiable work colleague, while Michael Stuhlbarg and Richard Jenkins each go through interesting character developments without letting their characters appear arbitrary.
Conclusion: The - in the truest sense of the word - fantastically equipped “Shape of Water - The Whispering of Water” is an extraordinary love story about an unconventional couple who Guillermo del Toro admits the right amount of romance, melancholy and drama.
“Shape of Water - The Whispering of Water” can be seen in German cinemas from February 15th.
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