The Shape of Water: A modern yet magical tale

Guillermo del Toro (best known for Pan’s Labyrinth and Pacific Rim)  shines as a storyteller in the movie, The Shape of Water. The story, set in the 60s, during a time when the USA was in the mist of the Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War era, a mute cleaning lady, Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins) befriends and falls in love with an amphibian, played by, imprisoned in a government building where Elisa is employed. She is one of several women who clean the government facility. When she learns of the horrific experiments and treatment that her new friend is undergoing, and will undergo, she realizes that she must risk everything to help him escape.  

It’s definitely a sci-fi take on Beauty and the Beast and The Creature of the Black Lagoon. The movie also shows how Elisa struggles to make her voice heard as she considers herself somewhat of a “beast” as well. The creature at first is frightening; some may say grotesque. Then, as the bond between him and Elisa blossoms that initial reaction is forgotten (not to spoil the movie but trust me) you begin to soften up to the creature.

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Del Toro pushes the phrase “Love has no bounds” by showcasing how jarring and endearing the bond that develops between Elisa and Amphibious Man. The manner in which they communicate with each other was beautiful to watch.  Neither speaks, they just depend on their physicality to communicate many emotions: love, hope, fear, anger, loneliness and forgiveness.  They were able to push through impossible odds and making the effort to show they care. Their story shows we are more than capable of doing that as well, with all our technology and gadgets.  The bond that forms between Elisa and the creature is jarring and endearing. Their relationship may push bounds for some, but also may strengthen what you define as love.

Sally Hawkins’ performance, is charming and graceful. The joy she expresses is contagious! Doug Jones as Amphibious man is tender and believable.

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The Shape of Water is truly a wonderful movie it combined a lot of my favorites genres: sci-fi, period films, and fairy tales.  Del Toro fans will not be disappointed with his story, his visual styling, his attention to colors, set design, costumes, and of course his monster. The soundtrack is memorable with wonderful period tune choices.  

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I loved this movie! I think you get that?! Go see it!

Happy Holidays!

Kos

Strangers in a Strange Land

With all the chaos that has been going on for the past month, sometimes it's best to escape with a good book or short story.  Since school has been dwindling down, this creative surge has come back for the past few weeks now and I had to share :) I usually have a notebook just full of ideas that come to me, whether it is for work or personal.  This short story is called "Strangers in a Strange Land". 

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When she walked into that bar on a cool fall night, she didn't exactly have what you would call "high hopes." The last few days had been a struggle to say the least and she was just looking for an escape - something to take her mind off of everything she had been through. All week long this had proved to be a whole lot easier said than done, so why would this be any different? What hope did she have of letting go and smiling again, even if just for a moment?

That's when she saw him.

There he was, across the room, looking like someone without a care in the world - someone who had it all figured out. He took sips of his beer, looking at her with the type of hazel eyes that command your attention in a way that you can't look away from. Even as she talked to a friend, she found her mind wandering - she hoped that he would come over, introduce himself and let her in on whatever secret to happiness that he had clearly discovered.

And that's exactly what he did.

As the music took over the room, it was like they were transported back in time to someplace simpler. Someplace better. It was the type of all-encompassing moment that felt like it was ripped out of a music video. The candles made their shadows dance across the walls, just as their bodies were dancing across the room itself. She played with his hat while they were dancing. He teased her - she tried to hide the fact that she was loving every second of it, but one thing that she couldn't hide was the smile that formed across her face.

Rather than just the gift of companionship for an evening, what he managed to give her over those few hours was something more. Much more. He had given her hope. He had made her forget all of the baggage she brought with her when she walked through those doors and demanded that she stay in this most beautiful of moments for as long as possible.

Thankfully, she did.

Neither he nor she wanted to let their experience end when the music did. They tried to find a place to eat - maybe a slice of pizza or two - but came up short at that time of night. They continued to walk together, arm-in-arm, down the picturesque star lit street. As they did, it was clear that finding food was quickly becoming less important than the moment itself that they both allowed themselves to be wrapped up in.

After he hailed her a cab, she wanted to lean in and kiss him. Something inside her told her that he was feeling the exact same way. For a split second, she allowed all of that drama to come creeping back into her head - for that inner turmoil to get the best of her - and wouldn't allow that kiss to happen. Something behind his eyes betrayed the cool image he was trying to convey - she could tell that he was every bit as conflicted as she was about that still-hypothetical kiss. It's a moment she would replay in her head, again and again, in the days to come. 

As they hugged, she struggled to find the perfect thing to say to cap of this wonderful experience. A word or a phrase that would distill everything that she was feeling so succinctly and expertly, but all they could manage to say was "goodnight." 

In the end, they ended the night in much the same way they began it - as strangers. They parted ways as the cab door closed. As it pulled away and she watched him grow small in the distance, it suddenly hit her. After a week of hell with her former friends, he had managed to be more of a person to her in just a few short hours than they were able to in ten long years.

Would there be another like it, lurking over the horizon? As she looked out of the cab window at the street art and the blare of the trains penetrated the night sky, the answer was simple: Only time would tell.

What do you guys think? Figured I haven't see anyone post a short story on a lifestyle blog before, figured I would give it a shot. Hope to write more.

xo
Kos