The Shape of Water won the Academy Award for best picture in 2017. Much of the attendant publicity was about its fairy tale story and great filmmaking technique.
I am not about to generally take up film commentary, but I finally overcame my wife’s reluctance to see a fairy tale and we watched the film this past weekend.
I feel—in fairness to others out there who may agree with my wife— I need to make clear that that it did not seem to me to be a fairy tale which to me is something detached from reality. Whether or not you see it as such, The Shape of Water is a fascinating commentary on humankind.
It is a movie about where we came from, where we are now, and where we may be headed.
We often forget that our species emerged from the water, and the film suggests that’s where we may be headed again. As for where we are now, the film suggests that we are being beset by angry, stupid people, which makes returning to water ever more appealing.
The movie’s title is not about geometry, but it is about the soothing and supportive ingredients that enable water based creatures to both survive and be invincible. It is fair to say the water is in very good shape.
The film is sort of a fantasy [as distinguished from a fairy tale] and a metaphor for our lives today.
Hollywood would have us believe that the Academy has turned in a new direction, and that it is much more politically astute than in the past, when more conventional films and actors were selected to carry the banner.
Indeed, The Shape of Water is not a conventional film. It breaks interesting new ground in using fantasy, metaphor and cinematic technique to stretch our minds and make us wonder where we may be headed.
Whether it is a fairy tale or not is in the eye of a beholder—blesses to my wife’s cooperation.
But do not avoid it, if fairytale is the only question.
I found it to be fascinating and provocative, and recommend it strongly to all thinking people!