Over the years, Oscar’s best picture was kinda predictable. Even most of their nominee almost always a period piece or a biopic. But a few years back, Oscar seems to shifts out of their trends by making a few exception including last year when La La Land mistakenly took the Oscar for Moonlight. That’s a very great surprise and it’s hilarious. So when the 2018 Oscar approaching, I expect another shocking winners, and they surprise me again. The Shape of Water won best picture!
It’s shocking really, I mean Oscar never give the best picture to sci fi before so I didn’t see this coming. I thought three billboards would’ve won, but instead they make a bold choice by chosing Guillermo Del Toro’s fish/human romance. So you might wonder what makes this movie won best picture at Oscar? Well, there are plently of reasons. And some say the movie is fueled with social commentary and very suitable with today’s community especially in America. That’s one of the reasons.
But I think it’s just a damn good movie! The reason is simply : it’s a good movie! Let’s think about it for a second. In paper this movie is so bizzare, I don’t think anyone with a straight mind would greenlit this. I’m not even sure what Del Toro have to say to his producer to produce this movie. Even when I heard the premise of the movie for the first time, I cringe and I thought this was very artsy weird monster movie. But when I watched it, I kinda like it actually.
Sure it’s kinda weird sometimes, especially when you describes how you have sex with a fish. (seriously, go watch it yourself) But overall it’s a great gorgeous monster movie romance! To be honest I’m not a fan of Del Toro, I mean I watched a few of his films, but monsters and weird creatures was never really my favorites. So I didn’t really expect that much before I watch this movie.
This movie tells a story about Elisa, a mute lonely janitor who worked in 1960’s research facility that fell in love with an amphibious fishy creature that’s been held in captivity. If you think that’s weird, wait till you watch the movie. It opens with Elisa masturbated in her bathtub using an egg timer. I think it’s a deliberate choice from Del Toro to introduce the character and there’s an implicit meaning behind it but that’s still one of the weirdest opening scene ever.
Anyway, we follow our lead character Elisa played by Sally Hawkins to the research facility and then things started to get more interesting. There, she met this creatures who’s very unique and somehow can feel her and even communicating with her. As the movie progresses she wanted to save the creatures because Michael Shannon’s character wanted him to be dead.
If you think about it and you look deeper beneath all of this monster thingy façade, it really tells you something. After all, it’s an artsy movie and it tells you more each time you rewatch it. It’s not a heavy movie but it takes more effort to appreciate it. You have to embrace the uniqueness of this movie if you wanted to feel it. And once you do that, this would be a meaningful journey for you.
So you gotta be prepared before watching this movie. Who knows what you got after watching this movie. Maybe it does tell us about love more than conventional love story? I don’t know. But for me, watching this movie is like eating ice cream as a topping of a pizza. It looks weird but when you taste it, you can taste the sweetness of ice cream as well as the juicy pizza breads at the same time.
As for the technical element of this movie I can sum it all up in one sentence : I’ts amazing. The cinematograpy is great, the production design, the acting and everything else looks stunning as well as beautiful. It really deserves all of the attention and best picture nod from the Oscar. It’s a bit weird but it’s a beautiful movie with so much to say. More importantly, you gotta respect Del Toro’s vision specially after he made that moving speech at Oscar. He’s the prove that we could all reach our dreams and vision one day just like he is. I salute you sir! Well done! Well done indeed!