Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Del Toro's 'The Shape of Water' is an Other-Worldly Fairy Tale

Poster by James Jean
“If I told you about her — the princess without a voice — what would I say?”
(Opening narration from the trailer)

So begins a very different exploration of a princess, and of a mer (not maid but) man. Set in the Cold War era of 1963, we're taken to the world of a mute and lonely cleaning woman of a high-security government lab, who discovers a top-secret experiment: an “aquatic man”, destined to be experimented on. The discovery - and he - change her life forever.

It sounds sci-fi/ monster-movie-ish: where is the fairy tale aspect? (we hear you ask...) Take a look at the trailer and see. There's something undeniably fairy tale about the way this story is told, and it's not just the strong styling. Clearly Guillermo del Toro is exploring a number of fairy tale themes here:
The mythology teases are tantalizing: All we know is that the creature was revered in the Amazon as a god but somehow ended up under U.S. government control. (Collider)
It seems not a whole lot is known about the synopsis other than what is shown in the trailer. From the initial pitch by del Toro and footage here, we could be looking at plot, or dreams, or both. The use of art as a medium within the film for storytelling is intriguing as well. Recalling shades of The Creature From the Black Lagoon and Night of the Hunter, both of which do have a fairy tale slant to them. Whatever the case, the mousey little woman finds her 'voice' and a strength it's unlikely anyone, including she, knew she had. 
Abe? Is that you?
And that appears to be where this 'other-worldy fairy tale', as it is officially described, begins. 

You may consider our curiosity piqued.
Fox Searchlight has given “The Shape of Water” an awards season release date of Dec. 8.


  1. Wow. It's like The Creature from the Black Lagoon if the girl was romantically fixated on the monster rather than the monster fixated on the girl. I'd think this was weird, but I'm also thinking this might be a better Creature from the Black Lagoon movie than whatever Universal has planned for its Dark Universe franchise.

  2. Oooh! I really want to see this. Thanks for sharing:)