I did not expect to be this film to be violent. Yet, I clutched my legs and looked away from the screen multiple times. The film is electric on the eyes. Playing into the 1960’s deco, stylish cars, drab wardrobe of Elisa & Zelda, paired with Alexandre Desplat’s hauntingly amusing music.
Writer/Director Guillermo Del Toro with Writer Vanessa Taylor shape an incredibly imaginative world realistic and timely to views of love, connection and being. There is a part of the storyline about the Russians that could have shaved thirty minutes off the film.This isn’t a film you need to see over and over again. That is the beauty of savoring it.
Michael Shannon continues his crusade as a phenomenal villain. He should have been nominated for his work. While Richard Jenkins was good as Giles, Elisa’s best friend, his character was consumed with his toupee and overly anxious. Octavia Spencer plays, Zelda, Elisa’s sort of protector. Her characters always have a weak husband. I hope she doesn’t return to this kind of character for a long time. Sally Hawkins delivers a definitively beautiful and soul baring performance as Elisa Esposito. Mute or not, her character gave something remarkable to the film. Doug Jones gives heart to the Amphibian Man. The chemistry between Elisa and the Amphibian Man is astounding, almost making me forget that it should feel strange.
There were outstanding films this year. I was eager to see this film to understand how it won Best Picture. It delivers in broadening an audience’s perspective and gaze into sharp storytelling matched with a stunning cast.