The winners of the 90th Academy Awards were announced last week and
“The Shape of Water” won the Oscar for best picture.
The film is now showing in Fukui as well and I went to see it.
(Photo from Fox Searchlight Pictures official Facebook page)
The film has warmth for vulnerable people who live quietly on the fringe of society.
One day, an amphibian man who had been worshiped as a god in a remote part of the upper Amazon, was carried into the hidden high-security government laboratory where Elisa (Sally Hawkins) works. Elisa got to communicate with the creature and she tries to get him out of the laboratory somehow. Elisa is a mute. Her friends Giles and Zelda who always support Elisa, both have a problem, actually.
The director Guillermo del Toro is well known as a big fan of Japanese cartoons and special effects movies. So I guess that the amphibian man’s body is a little bit like Ultraman. :) The director himself looks like a cute mascot character, and the amphibian man is well-balanced portrayed not too grotesque, kind of cute, not only he has intelligence but also has a living creature’s instinct.
When I saw the scene of wrecking of a new Cadillac, I felt the Mexican director’s criticism toward today’s America. The enemy role is Strickland, who is offensive to women, brutal and makes racist comments. And the scene of counterattack him by sign language is piquant.
The film was set in 1962 but it is like nowadays because of sexual harassment and political situation. I wonder why an amphibian man? As a matter of fact, the director del Toro saw the film “Creature From the Black Lagoon” a long time ago, and he felt sympathy for the creature, so he created this film. That sounds like him.
Even if I wrote that this is “A love story between female human and an amphibian man”, those who have not seen the film may not be able to imagine. But communications are not just limited to between humans. As there are several stories of marriage between a human and a non-human being all over the world, I recall a Japanese folktale “The Greateful Crane” and a legend of dragon god of Yashaga Ike Pond in Fukui. Also, I felt an animistic reverence for nature and non-human creatures. (H.S)