Film Review: The Shape of Water

 In Awards, Film, Reviews
[images: credit to the owners]

! warning ! this review might push your buttons or, make you giggle 

I am going to apologise in advance for this film review. It is not a good one. Sorry to anyone I offend I really don’t mean to or even want to but this pushed me over the edge.

If you fancy some fish love, look no further than The Shape of Water. Let me start off by explaining the reasoning for my very negative energy. Guys, just, no.  I don’t want to come over as a trumpet-blowing brag but I have seen my fair share of films, the good, the bad and the hideously ugly – see what I did there? This film falls somewhere in-between the bad and the hideously ugly. Now, you may not agree and may even protest against my view pioint, or even thrust us into some sort of social media scrimmage over this but honestly, this film was just not entertaining enough for me to warrant having a sore bladder and rear-end at the cinema for two and a bit hours (this film was waaaaaay to long)!

Let me set the scene for you. So, the sparkly (kind of tantalising) man-fish creature is captured by an unorthodox bunch of science-criminals, kept in a murky tank until one day, a cleaner stumbles upon the poor thing and makes it her life’s mission to help free it from immediate impending doom. All sounds pretty straight-forward and nicely heroic right?

For me, this film was nothing but classic Oscar bait. I think it just about highlights every single genre conceivable and provides all amenable qualities one such nominee ‘should’ have when in the running for Best Everything. Here’s a breakdown of what I mean…


The bad guy scientist (played by Michael Shannon) – What is he all about? And why does he feel the need to bite his finger off when he does? It’s nothing but gross and totally insignificant to what’s actually going on at that particular time in the movie.

Unnecessary fornication – Eh, #oscarbait right there. There were about maybe three scenes of note to which I am referring, all but one had again, heehaw to do with the storyline. Quite uncomfortable to watch. So, not for kids.

That black and white, film noir-y, old Hollywood rip-off, OTT, dancing Scene – Who taught this fish how to dance? I was like “WTF?”, turned to my mum and we were both like “WTAF?”. Google it. I don’t mind when classic filmmaking is referenced in modern movies but it has to have a point. Maybe we just don’t understand…

The ‘Stand-Off Scene’ at the end – Now the four-fingered scientist thinks he’s Tony Montana. By this point I had had enough of it (bursting for the bathroom). Honestly, this scene was just too much to even process, verging on pathetic, it was as if the filmmakers lost all form of imagination and couldn’t be bothered thinking about an alternative ending. Sorry folks but it is a disappointment.

I have whole-heartedly tried my hardest to find some part of this film that I resonated with but to be honest, it was a struggle. The only realistic reason I ventured to the cinema to see this was because of the impressive amount of hype and award nominations it received at the time (pre-Oscar win). As a film buff (as I’d like to think) and all other cinematic reasons considered, it would have been rude not to see it at the cinema.

This film actually felt quite immature at times. There must have been something I missed as it has flourished at the awards ceremonies this year, especially director Guillermo del Toro. I don’t particularly like being negative when it comes to other people’s creativeness but listen, we are all human and all have our likes and dislikes. I will end this post by stating that The Shape of Water personally just wasn’t my kettle of fish – at it again! It is worth a watch though, go broaden your cinematic brainwaves and tighten your aquatic sense, maybe you will even want to buy a goldfish afterwards.

Thanks for reading this ominous review.


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