Let's face it one of the most artistic, visual, imaginative Directors alive and working today in Hollywood is Guillermo Del Toro.
A CV with Pan's Labyrinth, Crimson Peak, Hellboy and Pacific Rim is definitely going to get your attention and defiantly make you wonder what a director/writer like that is going to concoct next.... well look no further for The Shape Of Water has arrived.
The story set in the 60s follows a lonely mute Elisa (Sally Hawkins) who whilst working as a cleaner at secret government Area 51 style facility comes starts to slowly form a bond with a underwater creature that has just arrived to be experimented on under the watchful eye of violent, paranoid, unstable government agent Strickland (Micheal Shannon).
The films spins a highly original fairytale yarn that pulls the audience on a journey of the years most unexpected love stories.
The script negotiates multiple genres, moods and themes in order to carefully unfold the story through its generous two hour running time.
Care and attention to details has been employed here to really justify any choice our characters make by giving all involved real features, flaws and frailties that isn't always the case in many films.
The cast lead by Sally Hawkins are on top form clearly making the most of the script Shannon shines as the deeply troubled flawed government agent, Octavia Spencer hot of Hidden Figures performs charismatically as the best friend and Richard Jenkins lavishes his diverse character journey he goes on.
Nicely and neatly shot but certainly not as trade mark stunning say as Crimson Peak the director navigates this film with the experienced skill that comes with his twenty plus years experience and shows us here that risks can certainly still be made. And worth the gamble.
Whilst the film may not be for everyone, a highly engaging, entertaining and original modern day fairy tale love story like this should prove that originality like romance is not dead.