“The Shape of Water” a rare love story

With 13 Oscar nominations, The Shape of Water brings a woman’s love affair with a rare species to the big screen. The subtle drama was carried by intimate moments between the leading characters, a thrilling race against the clock and even a short one-time black and white musical number by the lead actress, Sally Hawkins, and the amphibian.
Eliza Esposito (Sally Hawkins) is night-shift janitorial staff with her friend Zelda (Octavia Spencer) at a secret government laboratory. At work, a mysterious amphibious creature (Doug Jones) is moved into the facility and Eliza discovers he is being tortured. She then builds a relationship with the creature by secretly feeding him eggs, playing music on a portable record player and dancing in the room where the amphibian is being held. When Eliza overhears plans to kill the amphibian, she enlists the help of her next-door neighbor and close confidante, Giles (Richard Jenkins), to break the creature out of the government facility and release him into the wild.   
The villainous performance of Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon) is vicious and intense. As his character pursues the protagonists in his attempt to recapture the amphibian, the viewer watches him deteriorate into an aggressive rage.  
Guillermo del Toro’s writing and direction proved to be concise and well-paced. Details pieced together at the right time as the viewer sits in the theater. There is ample development time for every character to build up the viewer’s relationship with each of them.  
The movie is not absent of a couple of more gory scenes,, with audible gasps heard in the theater. But, there are also a fair share of lighthearted scenes that lift your spirits and bring you jubilance.
The ending can be interpreted as a mystery since we’re left wondering what happens next. The film leaves the viewer with no other choice but to have an idealist perspective on what you hope to have happened to the main character Eliza Esposito and her amphibian lover. I would recommend this movie to a casual movie-goer and film buff alike.