I typically find myself enjoying movies that are considered weird. From the satirical Sharknado movies to the mentally disturbing movie Teeth (warning: if you have a light stomach, do not watch that.) Even with this, The Shape of Water takes things to a whole new level. This movie is absolutely absurd, both in good and bad ways, but it takes it way too far at some points.
This review is going to contain mild spoilers for the movie. The movie begins with a mute woman named Eliza in her apartment. The scene opens with her morning routine consisting of waking up, boiling eggs for lunch, taking a bath, and (not joking) masturbating in said bath. This is the beginning scene and it exposes us to something like that with absolutely no relevance to the plot. Oh well, let’s move on.
With that shocking scene out of the way, Eliza goes to work as a janitor for an undisclosed, secret government facility. The time period of this movie is eventually discovered to be around the Cold War. One of the more likable characters comes into scene here: a fellow worker named Zelda. She is very humorous and talkative. They two discover a project government workers had taken a humanoid amphibian creature from South America which was worshiped by the natives as a God.
Alright, so it sounds like an awesome concept for a movie, cool! The creature is soon discovered to be semi intelligent as it can display emotion. So what went wrong?
The problem starts with Eliza starts developing feelings for the creature. No, not as a friend, not as a pet, as a LOVER. She starts developing romantic feelings for the “Asset” as the movie calls it. Not only this, but her close friends (all two of them anyway) are TOTALLY cool with it. Their reactions to everything is simply absurd. There were times the entire theater was laughing at how strange the events in the movie were.
The movie does do a couple things right. Since it takes place in the days of the Cold War, there are evident race and sexual orientation issues at hand. One man even goes as far as to say, “Man was created in God’s image. Well, at least we were,” when talking to African American Zelda. The way the characters overcome these obstacles is great.
Honestly, I do recommend seeing this movie solely for the experience of having a movie make you ask yourself “What?” every five minutes. Did I enjoy watching it? A little bit. Still, I think this movie is way too highly rated from other review websites, and this does not represent the feelings of the average consumer.