The Shape of Water: when Guillermo del Toro explained the film’s strange sex scene

In “The Shape of Water”, the heroine played by Sally Hawkins madly falls in love with a male amphibian, which in particular gives rise to a physical rapprochement. A sex scene where Guillermo del Toro gave his explanation and interpretation.

The shape of the water : the inauguration of Guillermo del Toro

After staging a tragic love story hidden in a macabre Gothic tale with Crimson PeakGuillermo del Toro regains his optimism The shape of the water. This enchanted parenthesis – which only lasts one movie, as he has since signed on his darkest project with Nightmare alley – marks a real inauguration for the filmmaker. The feature film wins four Oscars in 2018 : Best film, best director, best music and best art direction.

The shape of the water © 20th Century Studios

Artistic success accused of plagiarism, The shape of the water stands out in its author’s filmography of his increased romantic feelingsalready present in Hellboy II: The Cursed Golden Legions but which he had never explored so directly. Here, against the backdrop of this Cold War, the romance between the dumb heroine Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins) and the creature she seeks to free (Doug Jones) from a government laboratory outweighs the threat that hangs over them, symbolized by the Machiavellian Colonel Strickland played by Michael Shannon.

Guillermo del Toro does not neglect the action, but especially the building a breathtaking tale of escape and a hunt where Elisa can count on the help of her colleague Zelda (Octavia Spencer) and her neighbor Giles (Richard Jenkins). And if these characters in no way lack characterization, they gradually disappear to give way to the intimacy of the beauty and her beast. If this can be difficult to accept for the spectator, Guillermo del Toro manages to make it believable and above all overwhelming. To do this, he does not avoid certain key moments in a relationship, starting with intercourse, which he had hardly hitherto been interested in in his career.

An obvious but slightly blurred passage

Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor evoke from the authorship the importance of showing on screen the physical rapprochement between the two main characters. In an interview given to She knows and quoted byExpressexplains the co-author:

When I first spoke to Guillermo about the idea of ​​a sex scene, I said, “Either we think she wants to sleep with that fisherman, or she does not.” But if we do not believe in it, we have a huge problem. I had no way of knowing if it would work, but I thought, “Wow, if it does not work, we’re in trouble!”

The shape of the water
The shape of the water © 20th Century Studios

In addition to the emotional acceptance of the situation, there is the issue of the technical aspect. How can Elisha and the creature sleep together? During the filming, one does not approach this angle according to actor Doug Jones, who assures SyFyWire that he could only refer to the sequence in which the heroine briefly mimics the process to her friend Zelda:

It was never mentioned. His mime to explain how my equipment works … That’s all I heard about it. When I saw the first models of the costume and makeup, they never included genitals. (…) When I looked at myself, I said to myself: “Well, it could well open up and unfold if it had to”.

Director’s reflection

Doug Jones’ guess also agrees with Elisa’s explanation to Zelda. After the release of The shape of the waterdeveloping a business a sex toy that would resemble the sex of the amphibious man. An “inaccurate” representation, according to Guillermo del Toro, quoted byExpress. The instructor specifies that he has not designed the monster’s genitals inspired by The strange creature from the black lake but that he thought for a long time about it and said:

It’s not explicit in the film, but in the big shoals of fish they change sex if they need to. (…) I had this aspect in my design.

asked by IndieWirethe filmmaker specifies about the sex scene:

(It) is done in a very human, naturalistic way. It was really about getting the public to fall in love with the creature little by little.

Leave a Comment