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The Shape of Water (2018)

A mute falls in love with a Merman, their dangerous quest of acceptance and love will not stop until they live happily ever after.

This romantic masterpiece blurs the lines between what was considered a normal relationship in the 60s. Guillermo del Toro has combined the most dazzling visual and sound effects in order to create an overall completely satisfying watch. His talent as a director has given us so many beautiful films over time, from Pan’s Labyrinth to The Hobbit it is well established that this director knows how to create iconic characters.

This year, movies are lacking originality. Cinemas are saturated with remakes and adaptations of other films, ‘The Shape Of Water’ was a breath of fresh air because it told a story that had never been before.

Though The Creature from the Black Lagoon and even Beauty and The Beast experiment with this idea of forbidden romance, this film still manages to be unique. Each character begins their journey incomplete, as the audience we are positioned to want them to be complete by the end.

The story follows the heroes trying to defeat the villains. The characterisation of heroes and villains was so perfect because it made the film feel easy to watch and also to an extent realistic… if mermen can be realistic.


Character development is an important piece to making a spectacular film, the audience needs something to connect and relate to. I do realise not many people can relate to an Amphibian man, but in saying that, I’m sure you can relate to being in love? Or being lonely? Or knowing when to do the right thing? I felt connected to the characters morally, I felt I’d do the same in their position and this made me root for these characters and eventually begin to love them.

The overarching idea of water and nature was really beautiful within this film. Underlining the plot with a dark metaphor of the way man treats nature and how man is afraid of what it doesn’t understand. The acting abilities of Sally Hawkins and Michael Shannon really impressed me, their characters couldn’t more polar opposites, and they had brilliant chemistry on screen which made their feud all the more enjoyable.

Our very first impression of the story takes place in a fully submerged apartment, however the scene does not alarm it instead feels almost natural. Guided by a narrator we are taken down the corridor into a room where we meet the ‘Princess without a voice’. Everything is approached in a fairy tale esque way. We know that she will eventually find her prince on this journey.

The ending although slightly predictable, was a real happily ever after, and everything you wanted to happen, happened. Writing, directing, acting and cinematography within this film are all exceptional. ‘The Shape Of Water’ is by far one of the most beautifully captured stories of this year and really makes you appreciate the power of imagination.

9/10 Probe Points


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Actor Writer Critic Film Movie Reviewer

Welcome to Film Probe, a platform where I have dedicated my time and energies to reviewing films, tv and more. I pride myself on offering more than just an opinion, but rather a carefully crafted insight into the film's themes, characters, and overall production.

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