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The Shape of Water study

I recently rewatched this movie by Guillermo del Toro, with the intent to find details within its compositions that stand out. The character that stands out the most is obviously the amphibious monster that is presented early on in the movie. The way that Del Toro presents his monsters is unique, because often times we are not certain if the monster is evil in nature or simply a creature that reacts to how it is treated.

The relationship that unfolds between the monster and “Elisa”, a cleaning lady that has a speech impediment is uncanny, but both of their individual natures collide and end up being very compatible. This lady expresses to her friend that the monster does not see her from the perspective that other human beings see her, which is from her speech impediment. She feels in a sense that others are valuing her as an incomplete human, like an aspect of being human is missing in her so she is a less-than-human being.

The color palette for the study that I chose to make has a particularly saturated amount of green tonalities. Some colors shift occasionally, attempting to compete with the “swamp green” hues, but are only complementary. This is an interesting shot because it is the first interaction face to face we see in the movie of the monster and Elisa. At this point we are not sure if the monster is dangerous or not for her to be that close in proximity. It alludes in a sense that we strongly dislike as a human species creatures that look human in appearance, but are not in behavior.


The ambiance is intriguing because she offers a cooked egg with the hope of being able to interact with the creature, which has her initially captivated. She has a soft way of approach that makes her come across as unthreatening and receptive. As the creature rises from the pool made to keep the creature alive, we quickly see that it is kept “under control” with a collar and a chain attached to it. As the creature stands, we are able to make out the details of its face, as well as arms and torso, revealing the uncanny resemblance the monster has to a human figure. As the creature takes the egg and then retreats to the depths of the pool, we are given the impression that this sentient being has been made to suffer but is not aggressive in nature.

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