This post isn’t about The Shape of Water. It’s not about Sally Hawkings’s and Michael Shannon’s outstanding performances. Neither about the combination of make-up and brilliant physical coordination that makes Doug Jones a living embodiment of the creature. This article is about our look upon monsters. We won’t be writing about The Shape of Water itself as a movie, but rather how it shows us, in a simple way, some of the most intricate problems we face every day.
“Monsters saved my life” said director Guillermo Del Toro while receiving his award at the Golden Globes. A phrase that seems to contradict everything that we’ve learned about these creatures. During the same speech, when the music threatened to shut him up, the Mexican director said in a clear voice: “Stop the music, give me a minute. It took me 25 years to get here”. Sorry Mr. Del Toro but you are mistaken: It took the rest of the world 25 years to get to where you’ve always been.
“Monsters, I believe, are patron saints of our blissful imperfection and they allow and embody the possibility of failing” is another thing he left us that night and it works toward understanding the film’s message. Each monster, since the beginning of human storytelling, echoes a negative aspect that –supposedly- we should avoid as human beings. All of our lives we have been raised with a bitter rejection towards what monsters represented. But they are representations of things we carry inside, so we just end up rejecting ourselves. Self-awareness and acceptance is a monumental task that will take each and every one of us a lifetime to achieve. Realizing that we all have a little bit –or more- of “monster” inside of us and accepting that and understanding that not fulfilling society’s “ideal person” doesn’t mean we are “incomplete”.
The Shape of Water invites us to look inside and discover what things we label as “monstrous” in order to find acceptance. It's a movie where the villain is not the creature and doesn’t have a friendly, animated face that makes it more loveable. It is what it is. And it will search for love in it’s own way.
We invite you to discover this incredible love and acceptance story in this times where applause seems taken by tragedies and conflicts.