Analysis Of Guillermo Del Toro's The Shape Of Water

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The ponderous, mythical opening of visionary auteur Guillermo del Toro’s Oscar-winning film The Shape of Water gently guides us into its unique blend of horror and romance, surrounded by the same magic del Toro effortlessly captured in its spiritual predecessor, Pan’s Labyrinth from 2006. In the age of superhero blockbusters, endless sequels and reboots, del Toro’s sensual adult fantasy manages to make its voice heard amidst the cacophony of studio demands and creative restriction.

Set during the height of the Cold War in Baltimore 1962, the film follows the journey of mute custodian Elisa Esposito (played with aplomb by Sally Hawkins), who works at a high-security government research facility, and a amphibious humanoid creature captured from South America. Elisa proves that vulnerability is not a sign of weakness, that she doesn 't need to hide her identity under cynical facades; there is a nuanced strength at her core, filled with an all-encompassing curiosity and compassion that allows her to form a connection immediately with ‘The Asset’. Del Toro told Variety that he wanted to create a new type of Beauty and the Beast in which “the beauty is someone you can relate to – not a perfect princess” and “the beast doesn’t need to transform for love.” Guillermo del Toro understands that magical realism has to be grounded in reality first; with its soaring combination of authenticity, fantasy, and a dash of the perverse, The Shape of Water challenges the boundaries of its

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