“Unable to perceive the shape of You,
I find You all around me.
Your presence fills my eyes with Your love,
It humbles my heart,
For You are everywhere”
The Oscar winner for best picture, Monster storyteller Guillermo del Toro’s latest movie The Shape of Water (see trailer) is an otherworldly tale about the unlikely bond between Elisa (Sally Hawkins) and an Amphibian Man (Doug Jones) who is captured in a high security lab during the Cold War era.
I was not too familiar with del Toro and his work–I did not even know who he was when I caught a glimpse of him in person shooting this movie in Hamilton. But this beautiful, imaginative, and playful story really captured me. The color of this movie is mostly blue-greenish, and there are many elements of water throughout. This visual arrangement echoes with the theme of the movie very well, and I can almost smell the seaweed and feel the damp air. I saw the movie twice in theater and enjoyed it both times. I noticed many pleasant details the second time, which added more depth to the story and the experience. Another highlight, in my opinion, is the amazing performance the actors carried out, especially Sally Hawkins as a mute woman. There are not a lot of characters in this movie but each of them are well developed and has distinct qualities which makes this more even more efficient in storytelling. There were many little moments that made me feel deeply connected with the characters.
The concept of this movie might seem odd in some ways, but ultimately, it is a universal story about loneliness, friendship, heartbreaks and love. There is also a novel by del Toro of the same title, released earlier this month. In the book, the characters are developed further for those who would like to delve more deeply into the story.
More by del Toro:
This summer I decided to start reading The Kingkiller Chronicle series by Patrick Rothfuss after serendipitously coming across a five dollar copy of The Name of the Wind in a used book store.
This, my friends, was a mistake.
Not to say the book wasn’t good! It was fantastic! I blazed through it in a couple of days fueled only by sunshine and cider, and I then immediately grabbed the second one. It is also, however, one of those currently unfinished fantasy series that makes you reflect on your life choices, and wonder why you didn’t just wait for the last in the series to be released before starting. Therefore, as a good friend, I then made sure to pass it along to as many of my friends as possible so that we could all wait in agony together. During the course of recommending this series (and ruining several people’s lives when they found out about the as of yet unreleased third book), I then made my second discovery; every single person I’ve talked to loves this series but they also all HATE the protagonist, Kvothe. Continue reading
Take a break from reality by delving into these unique, magical, out-of-this-world reads.
Reading fantasy novels is often seen as a way to escape real life—and that’s definitely a big draw. There’s always some current event happening that makes us want to stick our heads in the sand and ignore it all. But sometimes fantasy can be used as a way to explore real issues, just using a different, carefully-controlled lens. I tend to read a lot of fantasy written by women, because I find that female fantasy authors use their writers’ magic to create worlds where female characters are given all the agency they wouldn’t have in, say, a realistic historical novel. So naturally, when I put together our Fantastic Worlds reading list, the ones I was personally drawn to all made me analyze their different representations of female characters.