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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 16, 2024

Film Review: “The Shape of Water”

Shape+of+water+graphic
Photo by Graphic by Jesse Everett
Shape of water graphic

I was disappointed by “The Shape of Water.” Knowing the film had been nominated for 13 Oscars, including Best Picture, I went into the theater expecting a masterpiece. Maybe it was my high expectations, but I couldn’t help feeling let down.
The movie wasn’t quite terrible, and there were some redeeming aspects to it. The acting of its leading lady, Sally Hawkins, was very good, and the premise of the film, romance between a woman and an intelligent fish-man, was rather interesting. The remainder of the film, however, left me wondering what all the hype was about.
The plot was absolutely scattered. Throughout the two-hour runtime, the story branched off in five different meaningless directions. Furthermore, it was awkwardly paced, devoting far too much time to tangents that added nothing significant to the film, and montaging its way through what should have been the focus, the relationship between Hawkins’ character and the fish-man.
The result of this poor pacing is that almost nothing in the story seemed really believable, especially the rapidly formed and underdeveloped sexual relationship between the creature and the main character. The only times we really saw them together, she was either feeding him eggs or they were hugging naked in a bathtub. By the end of the film, I honestly wasn’t sure if they could even communicate, outside the sign language words for “egg,” “music” and “together.”
The script, at times, came off as extremely cheesy which, combined, with liberal use of nudity and one utterly out of the blue song and dance number, caused me to think writer and director Guillermo del Toro was trying far too hard to seem edgy and artistic to actually create anything meaningful.
However, the film did actually have solid thematic foundations. Its message, which was sloppily conveyed, was that love should be valid in all its forms and that humanity can come from the unlikeliest of places. However, despite this tried and true theme which has been the foundation of blockbusters in the past and the marvelous acting of its main character and some of its supporting cast, “The Shape of Water” was too unfocused and superficial to work for me.
It wasn’t a waste of time, as there were some parts, few and far between, worth seeing. However, I was glad when the film came to an end. Maybe if I went in with lower expectations I wouldn’t feel so harshly towards it, but it was far enough away from my idea of a “Best Picture Nominated Film” that I just couldn’t help feeling disappointed.

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