My Fault or the Director’s Fault

How Misinterpreting “The Shape of Water” Took Away From the Film

Deana Trautz, Reporter

Released on Dec. 1, “The Shape of Water” is a beautiful film that captures the story of a mute woman who works as a janitor in a government lab. When the scientists brought in what looked like a merman, or possibly a lizard/man hybrid, she builds a relationship with the creature and will do anything to protect it from the ignorance of the government.

I hadn’t seen it being heavily advertised before I watched it over the break , but very soon everyone was talking about it.

“The Shape of Water” is one of those rare movie that hits all the marks. Throughout the film it touches on sexism, sexual harassment in the workplace, racism, homophobia and prejudice. Set in 1962, these were apparent problems of that time. Each character served their purpose in showcasing what it was like to be affected by those issues; no characters were wasted space. It was almost as if the director had a list of issues common to that time period, and included them carefully without adding unnecessary scenes.

I may be poor at movie analysis, but after getting in the car to drive home from the theatre, I realized while talking about it with my mom that I had misinterpreted various parts of the movie. I’m not sure if this was mediocre writing in parts, leading me to interpret a scene or relationship status differently, but I’d be interested to see how others took in the film.

I usually embrace when there are varying interpretations of something like this, however I do believe that it took away from the film itself that I had thought of the relationships differently throughout the movie.

The antagonist in the film was played by the often villainous Michael Shannon. He was part of what made the movie and after watching him in this, I don’t think I’ll be able to see him in any protagonist figure.

I was surprised to see that a real actor played the lizard man, because I assumed it had all been CGI. I guess I had not thought about the possibility of special effects makeup.

The plot was really wonderful and whimsical at times, pulling out things you just wouldn’t ever expect to happen. Though the ending could be seen in a few different ways, it was one of those endings that left your jaw hanging open as the credits start to roll.

I’d give this movie 8/10 stars.