If there’s a better movie out there about a woman who fucks a fish monster, I’ve yet to see it.
BQB here with a review of the Oscar front runner, “The Shape of Water.”
I don’t think the line above counts as a spoiler. If you check out the poster for this film, it shows a woman locked in a passionate embrace with a fish man sooo…I mean I don’t know about you, but when I saw that my immediate reaction was to realize that this movie was probably going to feature some human on fish man fucking.
Beyond that, I can’t begin to discuss this film without mentioning SPOILERS so if you don’t want to read SPOILERS then don’t read on below. SPOILERS!!!
Here’s the deal, 3.5 readers. I’ve been a movie buff for as long as I can remember. I have seen so many movies that I deserve an honorary degree in film studies.
I’m usually able to collect my thoughts after I see a film…but I’m not sure what I saw here.
It was good. I’m just unclear as to the point of it all.
Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer play Elisa and Zelda, a duo of cleaning ladies who keep a top secret 1960s Cold War era research facility spotless. They dust satellites and clean bizarre machines and are aware that their continued employment (and freedom) requires them to keep their mouths shut about anything they see.
That’s easy for Elisa as she’s mute – unable to speak. Elisa lives on the periphery of life, always enjoy movies and television, which she watches with her elderly, unemployed neighbor, a mopey ex-advertising artist named Giles (Richard Jenkins.)
Elisa is content to stick with the same old life until she learns that one of the lab’s test subjects, a fish man comparable in appearance to “the Creature from the Black Lagoon” is regularly tortured by Strickland, a clandestine CIA type played by Michael Shannon.
Long story short, Elisa feels sorry for the fish monster, so she enlists Zelda and Giles to participate in an breakout scheme.
And then once the creature is free, he and Elisa fuck. Oh my God. There is so much fish monster on human woman fucking its crazy really.
Sooo…I’m unsure of a number of things. My first thought is surely this film, about a woman who falls in love with and fucks a fish man, must be a dark comedy. The Academy never touches sci-fi, but the film makes use of typical French romance music, so one is left to wonder if this is all just a parody of classic romance films, but instead of two French people who lose their ennui after they meet, this is about….human on fish man fucking.
There are definitely dark comedy undertones yet there is a lot of drama and in many parts, a serious tone. What exactly is the overall theme? The best I was able to come up with is that it is very difficult to find true love so when you find it, you must embrace it, even if you and your partner have differences – say, differences in race, religion, background…or you know, if one of you is a human and one of you is a fish man.
From a writer’s standpoint, I am amazed. I write so many outlandish, ridiculous, absurd things but never once would I dream of having a woman and a fish monster get it on. Honestly, take out the French romance music and some of the dramatic flourishes and serious scenes and this movie could double as an April Fool’s episode of the X-Files where the producers decide to let their hair down and be silly.
Meanwhile, Michael Shannon is skilled at playing psychos and he excels here. This is his best performance since “Boardwalk Empire.” I was left to believe that he really wanted to apprehend the fish man at all costs and was not moved by the romantic undertones of human on fish man coitus.
Jenkins also deserves recognition. I bought him as a sad sack whose only friend is Elisa and thus he’s willing to do anything to retain her friendship. By the way, don’t get old because if a woman has to choose between an old man and a fish man, she will choose the sushi penis every time. Scaly balls, yes. Wrinkly balls, no.
Is it worth an Oscar? I mean, I enjoyed it, I had a good time, it did make me think about love and how it can bloom in the strangest places under the most unexpected circumstances.
Is it better than the other nominees? I’ll have to think about that one, though I’ll note that at this point, I really just want the news to be talking about how a movie about a woman who fucks a fish man was made best picture and to the best of my knowledge, none of the other films feature a woman banging a fish man.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. If you ever figure out what it’s about, tell me.