Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Many years ago, Guillermo told me with his open, giant, sparkling eyes, about an idea that was circling around his head for his next film: The love story between a mute woman and a fish man. That idea could not only occur to Guillermo del Toro, but also only an artist like himself would be capable of carrying it out. And for that same reason, aside from getting really excited about his idea, I knew that it would be his best film.
Because there are films that, a little better or a little worse, any director can make. But there are others that can only exist if they are created or directed by only one director in the world. And this is one of those and the most personal among Guillermo del Toro’s work. “I have always been, or felt like I am, that fish man, that different being outside the water,” Guillermo told me.
“Shape of Water” is a love letter to love. And a love declaration for cinema. And Guillermo changed the paradigm of the monster tale because no monster or princess has to change. The only real transformation comes from within, by loving and accepting each other as they are.
A film that loves, without conditions, the marginalized, the rejects, those beings that are “different” and have no voice. It has a perfect villain that embodies those ideologies from the past, but are so relevant, recycled, and even more dangerous today. The fear of the otherness. Blinded by fear and ignorance, he cannot see the others for what they really are, but loses control and reason with the idea they represent for him.
Water, omnipresent, opens and closes the film. The aesthetic beauty and dramatic tension flow liquidly in every image and every scene; through the acting of each of the cast members, it emanates a profound and beautiful nobility, light, and darkness.
Like some of the literature from Haruki Murakami, Guillermo del Toro’s “Shape of Water” is a delight of fantasy and a miracle it exists in our reality.
Inarritu won back-to-back directing Oscars for “Birdman” and “The Revenant.” His earlier films include “Babel” and “Amores Perros.”