The Shape of Water– Reel-y a Classic?

Nicholas Johnson

This review is finna be haphazard and incoherent.

By the way, finna was a fish pun. A lazy one, but hey, you do better. So the fish pun count in this article, if you include the title (which I do), is two. 

And there will be more. I promise you that.

So the Shape of Water. I watched it a while ago. I pirated it. Sorry. Pirate-d is not a fish joke, per se, but it’s water related, sort of, so I’ll count it. Fish pun three.

Frankly, I found it a bit ham-fisted. And believe me, I really don’t want to criticize the film on the basis of its message, which I think is positive, almost across the board,  the possible exception being its tacit endorsement of bestiality. But for real. The criticism of the film, or, more specifically, the criticism of its morals, is so unbelievably annoying (I’m looking at you, Ben Shapiro, and a whole hell of a lot of other right-wing political commentators, probably) that I’m half tempted to lie and say that The Shape of Water was a triumph, or whatever, but it wasn’t. It was fine. Just fine. 

I guess all the performances were good. The guy that played the fish guy was good and the his makeup was sweet, too. The lead actress didn’t talk, but still made it work, which is neat. Octavia Spencer’s good. She’s always pretty good. Micheal Shannon is cool, too, though his character is sort of written silly. Oh, and that guy from Men and Black 3 and A Serious Man was awesome as the rooskie spy. Also Richard Jenkins (the guy from Step Brothers) was good, and that’s everyone, so yeah. 

Man. What’s my problem with the movie, anyway? There was that cool, daydreaming, black and white dance sequence between fish guy and mute girl. I guess the relationship was weird– Actually, that’s an understatement, it was kind of gross. She has sex with the fish, guys. It’s reel-y gross.

Yeah, that one was forced. Sue me. 

Oh, and the fish guy totally eats a cat! He just eats it! And she has sex with the fish guy anyway! Jesus this movie is weird. And I like weird, but this is bad weird, if that makes any sense.

And also the ending, which I won’t spoil because I do think the film is worth watching, is really out of left field and kind of silly, if I’m being honest. I think it would’ve behooved The Shape of Water to take itself a little less seriously. 

Get Out should’ve won. Yeah. I’ll say it. It was the best picture. And like I guess that Best Picture should go something a bit more spectacular, except no, that’s not accurate, either, because Moonlight won best picture last year and Manchester by the Sea the year before that (both, by the way, phenomenal films) so maybe– and stick with me on this one– Best Picture should go to the best movie of the year. Which was Get Out. Have you seen? It won Best Original Screenplay, you know. Check it out.  

The Shape of Water was pretty good. For real. 7/10, probably.

Wait. Did I give The Cloverfield Paradox a 6/10?

Alright. Cloverfield Paradox is now a 3/10. God, I’m bad at ranking things. The Shape of Water stays a 7/10. 

I still think Guillermo del Toro deserved best director, by the way. I don’t know why I think this. Seems like a contradiction, right, given my review of the movie? There are some very impressive little elements in the movie. 

Maybe I was too harsh on it. You ever get that? You see a movie and you’re like, “Well that was dumb,” but then you think about it and you’re like, “Actually, that was pretty good.” I’m kind of getting that right now.

8/10. I changed my mind. I can do that. This is America.

Get Out was 10/10, though. 9.6, if we’re being really specific. 

Umm… Something something box office flop. Get it??? Flop!!! Like a fish. Sorry. I’m sorry. I promised fish puns but forgot. I’m sorry. 

God I hate myself.