Fringe Box



Film Review: The Shape of Water – Guildford Odeon

By Dennis Harvey-Hepherd

The Shape of Water is an adult fairy tale, of monsters and lovers, sacrifice and hatred.

We are taken to the post-WW2 anti-communist paranoid America, coloured with a dark palate, giving an impression of an old gothic horror.

Emotions are all ramped up to the maximum with no time for nuance or subtlety.

Thankfully the plot moves quickly as a result and the 2 hours 3-minute duration flies as quickly.

This film is probably the director Guillermo Del Toro’s best work (I haven’t seen them all so cannot be certain).

The performances by actors Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Richard Jenkins and Doug Jones are all excellent. I would particularly pick out Doug Jones who inhabits the central creature around which the story revolves. He brings the full range of emotions to his character without the benefit of language, purely by his body language, which shines through his latex prosthetic body. (You may have seen him recently in Star Trek: Discovery, similarly cloaked in alien costume.)

As the story reaches the ultimate and predictable conclusion, I felt this to have been a satisfying experience.

This will not be everybody’s cup of tea, indeed I resisted seeing it until after its Bafta success, but is well worth 4 out of five stars.

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