I will make no bones about it: if you feel uncomfortable about bisexual male romance, and feel disturbed seeing adoration and longing played out in a messy, direct, and exploratory way, this movie is not for you. Props to director Luca Guadagnino, though, for not shying away from any part of it, not the messiness, nor the aching emotions of longing, loss, and culmination, nor the delicate difficulty of filming experience and inexperience in a way that will undoubtedly freak some people out.
In which Jennnanigans recounts the story of how she unexpectedly received some awesome promotional material from The Shape of Water, owing to a recent viewing and review. The material was not requested and was a total surprise upon arrival. Jennnanigans was not paid or compensated for this blog entry in any way.
Good morning and happy Friday!
Last night while watching a video on bullet journaling, I heard a knock at my front door. Expecting a belated Xmas gift, I was surprised to find a long, rectangular package with a return address reading Fox Searchlight Pictures. I was further surprised to find the package was addressed to me, at this blog title.
Achariya and I had a ripping discussion on The Last Jedi today. Yes, it begins with light fangirling over Adam ‘Bae Vader’ Driver, but that doesn’t last long.
Achariya and I had a ripping discussion on The Last Jedi today. Yes, it begins with light fangirling over Adam ‘Bae Vader’ Driver, but that doesn’t last long. Tonight we’ll be seeing ‘Darkest Hour’ and will have something up on that tomorrow or Wednesday. May the Force Be With You!
Good morning! This week my co-author Achariya and I were able to attend an advance screening of The Shape of Water. We loved it and we had thoughts. The following are those thoughts. The section here is spoiler-free, but spoilers do appear in the discussions below the cut. Enjoy, and feel free to chime in!
JEN: Let me get this right out of the way – I loved it, I want people to support it, but I also recognize it’s not for everyone. Also there were three movies that I couldn’t help but think about: Amelie, for the love story, Splash, also for the love story, and The Creature From the Black Lagoon, mostly because of the Amphibian Man but also because that latter touched on concepts of loneliness.
ACHARIYA: Last night when I left the theater, I called my dad, a cinephile from way back. I told him the bare outlines of the plot, and he said, “Oh, obviously Guillermo Del Toro is a student of film, and has also seen Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein — he’s likely well versed in the genre of the relatable monster.” And yes, I also loved it.
JEN: Also I can’t help but think of this as Del Toro thumbing his nose at Universal’s failed attempt to launch a Dark Universe franchise; I read that he was offered the Dark Universe and turned it down. Had he taken it on we would be seeing a Creature From the Black Lagoon remake very like this, along with all the other well-loved monsters. Here’s a man who can’t write an unsympathetic monster, who will always see layers to every villain but most of all to the ugly, unloved, and broken. It’s a damned shame we won’t see those from him.
ACHA: I would argue that the introductory lines of the movie pointed to the true monster — and Del Toro was absolutely able to write an unsympathetic villain. It just wasn’t the one that you’d think. (More about that in spoilers!)
JEN: One more thing before we get into the spoilers – I found the movie brilliant because of the complete removal of its universe from reality, while still managing to feel believable. All the questions I had stemmed from situations that were created within the movie – there was never a moment where I thought ‘Well that can’t happen because X.’ The story had my complete buy-in.
ACHA: And I’d posit that this is in part because the audience has been given a perfect character through which to react to and question the movie, the main character’s best friend, Zelda (played by Octavia Spencer). Her responses throughout were exactly what mine were: “What?” “You did what??” “I — what?” And then, her ultimate sympathy and acceptance for the main character: “Okay, whatever works for you.”
I want you to know three things about The Shape of Water.
They are, in no particular order, that it is:
Beautiful, lyrical, and absolutely deserving of the buzz surrounding it; the fact that there is so much buzz around it and that people are appreciative of such a daring story is wonderful.
Marvelous, in that it literally contains marvels of all sorts. Acting, effects, imagery, characters, sets, dialogue, music, production, you name it, there is something in this movie to dig into.
Inspiring a much, much longer review from my co-blogger Achariya and I that we will hash out tomorrow and post in the next day or so. I will keep general comments above a cut, but deeper discussion will need to contain spoilers so those will go below the cut.
Man. That was something. I cannot WAIT to write more, but it’s late and this sort of thing requires a proper marination of the brainmeats before anything can be said.