Guillermo del Toro’s film, ‘The Shape of Water’ is magic.
Part fairytale, part myth, the story of Eliza Esposito – the princess without a voice – a janitor at a government facility, and the amphibious creature from South America she falls in love with, has a quirky humour and aesthetic that reminded me of the films of Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie, The City of Lost Children, A Very Long Engagement), laced with a dark and haunting lyricism. It’s a film that doesn’t shy away from issues of loneliness, isolation, discrimination, politics, race, and the violence and ugliness perpetrated on people (and creatures) deemed different. And what it means to be human; to be truly seen.
While I don’t want to ruin this film for anyone who hasn’t seen it, it’s the poem recited at the end that encapsulates the heart of this gorgeous tale of love, longing and transformation:
Unable to perceive the shape of you
I find You all around me.
Your presence fills my eyes with
Your love. It humbles my heart,
For You are everywhere…