THE SHAPE OF WATER is set in the 1960s and follows a mute janitor named Elisa, who works at an aerospace research center. When a creature is brought that is essentially an amphibious man and is tortured by a mean Colonel, Elisa starts to befriend the creature. When she learns that the creature is going to be killed, she breaks it out of the lab and hides it in her apartment, There, she proceeds to fall in love with the creature.
THE SHAPE OF WATER undeniably has beauty to it. Guillermo del Toro is known for creating beautiful worlds with meticulously detailed sets, stunning visuals and engaging characters. That said, craft will only take you so far when the heart of the story contains disturbing lust, intense violence and politically correct, leftist jabs at middle-class Americans and traditional biblical values. Elisa’s relationship with the creature, which is sexual in nature, is absolutely disgusting. Add on the fact that THE SHAPE OF WATER has extreme violence and strong foul language, and you’re left with one of the worst, most abhorrent movies in recent years.
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Very strong Romantic worldview where sexual impulses and the sinful desires of the heart should be lived out, no matter how far the boundaries go, with some moderate paganism in reference to a creature being a god, and in the end the other characters discover that the creature has healing abilities, very strong anti-biblical elements as the main villains are all Christians who quote the bible multiple times, very strong politically correct elements include strong Anti-American, anti-patriotic messages as soldiers, and military are shown as bloodthirsty and heartless, plus a strong homosexual worldview, where character laments the fact that he’s closeted and tries to hit on a younger guy who’s not homosexual and is rejected.
27 obscenities (including multiple “f” words), nine profanities, and an obscene gesture.
Very strong and graphic violence, includes a man’s fingers are bit off and sewed back and then later in the movie he rips his own fingers back off, an innocent guard is poisoned, a creature is tortured with a cattle prod, a cat’s head is bit off by creature, a man is shot in the head, and man’s throat is sliced open, all with lots of blood.
Very strong sexual content, it’s implied that a woman has sexual relationship with an amphibious creature that resembles a man, but is not, at one point we see them nakedly embrace, but actual sex is not seen between them, depicted sex between husband and wife, and husband is somewhat forceful during it, mute woman masturbates in the bathtub on two occasions.
Full female nudity on multiple occasions, woman pulls out her breast for her husband, upper male nudity.
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
THE SHAPE OF WATER is another romance fantasy movie from acclaimed Director Guillermo del Toro that’s masterfully executed and beautifully designed, but morally and spiritually empty and politically charged.
The movie is set in the 1960s during America’s space race with the Soviet Union. Elisa is a mute janitor at an aerospace research center. The only friends Elisa has is her apartment neighbor Giles, who’s a closeted homosexual artist in his mid 50s, and Zelda, an African-American woman with whom Elisa works and has been friends with for 10 years.
One day, a Colonel Richard Strickland walks into the research facility with a capsule containing some sort of creature. Elisa is asked to clean up the room where the creature is being stored. At one point, the Colonel stumbles out of the room with two of his fingers missing, and Elisa and Zelda have to clean up the blood.
Intrigued by the creature, Elisa sneaks back into the room and discovers that the creature is an amphibious man that was captured in the Amazon. The natives had worshiped it as a god. The amphibious man (who looks more animal than human, an important distinction) can’t speak and has been tortured by the Colonel.
Elisa starts sneaking in during her lunches to spend time with the creature. She starts teaching it to communicate very basic words through sign language. Meanwhile, one of the scientists at the lab is secretly a Russian spy who’s keeping tabs on America’s research. An American general gives the order for creature to be killed, dismembered and studied, and the Russian spy is told to also kill the creature so that the American’s can’t learn anything new about it. Elisa finds out about this and decides to hatch a plan to break the creature out with the help of her friends Giles and Zelda and the Russian scientist, who doesn’t want to see the creature die.
They are able to break the creature out of the lab and hide it away at Elisa’s apartment. It’s then that things take a weird turn as Elisa falls in love with the creature. However, she knows that she’ll have to release the creature to the ocean before the Colonel tracks them down and kills it.
THE SHAPE OF WATER undeniably has beauty to it. Guillermo del Toro is known for creating beautiful worlds with meticulously detailed sets, stunning visuals, and engaging characters. The writing is also very well crafted. That said, craft will only take you so far when the heart of the story is unabashedly one of disturbing lust, intense violence and politically motivated jabs at middle-class Americans.
From the very beginning, all the villains are setup as God-fearing, patriotic men. One character portrayed in this way could be coincidence (though unlikely), two characters is definitely a not so subtle jab at Christian conservatives. If that doesn’t ruffle some feathers, the movie’s perverse view of sexuality pushes boundaries even more. Giles’s suppressed homosexual lifestyle (because of the era he lives in) is seen as a tragedy. In similar fashion, when Elisa develops feelings for the creature, in an impassioned plea, she convinces others she can’t contain her forbidden “love.” When the creature is at her apartment living in the bathtub (because he’s amphibious), she rushes into the bathroom naked, and we find out the next day that Elisa and the creature had intercourse. Of course, the underlying worldview in the movie is that our sexual impulses aren’t something that should be suppressed or rebuked, but instead should be lived out totally and openly. This is no surprise coming from del Toro since his last movie centered around an incestuous relationship between a brother and sister. This is absolutely abhorrent and detrimental to society. Add on the fact that THE SHAPE OF WATER has extreme violence, strong foul language, and lots of political correctness, it’s one of the worst movies in recent years, a movie that every viewer should want to avoid.
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