January 4th, 2018
The Shape of Del Toro
Tonight I saw Del Tor’s The Shape of Water. Sally Hawkins’ performance was quite engaging and lovely. I thought the rest of the film was rather flat (it didn’t fall flat, it just felt flat), though my devotion to Del Toro’s artistic vision (in general, as pertains to his whole life) keeps me from being inclined toward too much criticism. I think that this one fell victim to too “much” immediate story with not enough narrative arc. Even though the story is literally a fantasy, its focus on the pure physicality of each moment came off as somehow unrealistic. I think the story overall could have benefited form a bit more abstraction, a bit less form overall, and more emphasis on the symbols and themes at play without spelling them out quite so overtly. Less immediacy? A shorter running time? I’m not really sure. Overall though, I know he’s an aesthetic filmmaker, so it would be hard for him to not show things.