Enfant du Siècle’s review published on Letterboxd:
A few days ago, Guillermo del Toro expressed in an interview that he tries to keep the plot of his films as simple as possible and thus be able to focus on the visual aspect; personally, it seems to me that right there lies the biggest flaw in his latest feature film, a simple and predictable story, a little longer than necessary and, although visually attractive, very conventional. The interviewer mentioned that this is a very complex film with several levels of reading. Quite frankly, it seems to me that this is not the case. The fact that there are references to issues of gender, race or sexual preference, which are very much present in the current debates, does not mean that there is a high level of narrative sophistication, especially if these topics are not treated in depth.
The Shape of Water is a traditional fairy tale very well directed by a filmmaker who has a well-defined style and is in complete control of the medium. In my opinion, the film is sustained thanks to the aforementioned and the performances of Sally Hawkins, who gives her all unconditionally, and Richard Jenkins, whose character is really endearing. Octavia Spencer and Michael Shannon do a good job, but I feel like I've seen her play this role on more than one occasion, and he plays a pretty formulaic villain. A further note that I would like to add is that, in general, I enjoy Alexandre Desplat's work very much, but unfortunately this wasn't the case, I found his score too distracting.
The Shape of Water is a tribute to cinema with a good message about love and acceptance; I couldn't connect with it but it is undeniable that the last scene, which also explains the title, possesses a great beauty that I will not forget easily.