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The Shape of Water (PG25) : Sequestration, Sexual Abuse, Crypto-Pedophilia... You Name It. (2000 words)

Publié le par Kevin

The Shape of Water (PG25) : Sequestration, Sexual Abuse, Crypto-Pedophilia... You Name It. (2000 words)

Edit: I've just reread this article and realised its tone is a bit angry and doesn't make for the most agreable read. Still, if you can focus on the ideas, you'll see that I raise a huge number of very interesting questions.

 

There’s a sentence I’ve been willing to carve into many people’s head lately because the stupidity of our culture is so very hard to cope with and that’s: “Appearances are (most of the time) deceiving.”

Of course, everyone knows that, it’s a trite thing to say… except that very few people seem to understand the deep concept of “appearances.”

Appearances are made of the information you have access to directly and without the need to think, to reflect upon, or to use your memory to confront other pieces of information with them.

Appearances are everything that is handed out on a plate for you, everything that is not filtered through a critical eye. They spontaneously hint at an interpretation that is the simplest way of reconstructing a reality.

A body with a bullet in the chest + a woman with a smoking gun next to it = the woman murdered the victim.

It has become trendy right now on the internet to call “analysis” an examination of every detail in a movie that supports the interpretation that is APPARENT. In other words, the incarnation of the absence of any intellectual process is called analysis. This is obscurantism with a smile and thousands of likes.

Now, let’s say the detective questions the woman and she says that she actually shot at another person who happened to be the murderer and who was running away. The bullet in the body is analysed, it was shot by the same gun but it’s also true that several bullets were fired. At the end of the movie, a bad guy is arrested and the woman is declared innocent.

Movie structures often create the illusion that we, spectators, see through appearances contrary to the stupid assistant cop who will strongly believe that the poor woman did it (so that we can enjoy the pleasure of feeling superior to him) but watching a movie that makes you go through appearances doesn’t mean you're going through the mental process that is necessary to do so.

The Shape of Water (PG25) : Sequestration, Sexual Abuse, Crypto-Pedophilia... You Name It. (2000 words)

At the end of the movie, appearances are that the woman with the gun was innocent. Did spectators need any thinking to reach that conclusion ? No. The movie handed it out on a plate for them, and they're still as incapable of looking at things with a critical eye as they were at the beginning… and the woman might very well have been the killer and a good liar.

Why so much bitterness, you'll ask. Because I’ve recently tried to chat about The Shape of Water with a few people and was violently mocked and looked at like I was a madman. Can you imagine ? I dared utter the blasphemous idea that the way Elisa Esposito “offers” herself to the creature is creepy, and that she is not as innocent, harmless and generous as she LOOKS.

The thing that gets to me about all this is that I wasn’t even trying to convince people. It is just not allowed to have a complex opinion that derives from the general politically correct way of interpreting the movie.

So.

Elisa Esposito is not human. She was found when a baby next to a river, with a wounded neck. Last shot of the movie, she breathes through gills and underwater. She can’t speak, just like the amphibian. She masturbates in her bathtub => aquatic sexuality. (Any normal woman will tell you it doesn’t work well).

The Shape of Water (PG25) : Sequestration, Sexual Abuse, Crypto-Pedophilia... You Name It. (2000 words)

All that she wants throughout the movie is to have her eggs fecundated or to be impregnated. Awww… people thought she was selflessly bringing him fooooooood, that’s cute.

She brings her eggs to the amphibian and he tries to fertilise them, or at least pretends to do so… maybe he doesn’t want to reproduce with such an ugly creature as Elisa; remember that he is an amphibian and she looks human. Why would he want to give her babies ?

Enthralled with the delight of having found someone who is “like her,” Elisa becomes enamoured with Amphibian guy. Problem is, Strickland wants to kill the thing.

And so Elisa decides to save the creature to whom she never gives a name by the way. It didn’t seem to bother anybody that not only she is supposed to have sex with a non-human creature but the creature is never deemed evolved enough to deserve a name by anybody. Yeah. Not creepy at all.

The Shape of Water (PG25) : Sequestration, Sexual Abuse, Crypto-Pedophilia... You Name It. (2000 words)

“But it’s a metaphore !” I was told by someone. “It’s a fairy tale !” Guess what, in Beauty and the Beast the sex part too was included in the metaphore. When Del Toro decides to make the sex scene literal, it is only logical and necessary that we also consider the literal zoophilia question.

The saving mission is a joke. Elisa thought of nothing and it’s a miracle that nobody (on their side) gets killed, and it’s even more of a miracle that they actually succeed. The meaning of this level of incompetence underlines the fact that the mission has nothing to do with compassion and also that Elisa gives ZERO SHIT about Zelda or Giles. And if this assertion shocks or offends you just wake up ! Friendship is not about forgetting about your friends’ existences 99% of the time and be totally blind to everything they do for you or to all the pain they go through in their miserable lives, only to remember they exist when you need them to risk these lives for you… and to forget them afterwards, and put them in a life-threatening situation out of cheer indifference. The level of self-centeredness of Elisa goes through the roof and not only nobody seems to realise it but people praise her for her generosity and benevolence !

Oh, and by the way… have you noticed whom Strickland gets the idea that Dimitri is suspicious from ? No ? From Elisa. It is so nice of her to have told the russian spy, without whom everything would have turned into a giant pile of dead bodies, that he was a “good man” before sending him the death squad. Why getting rid of Dimitri ? Because he cares about the creature, because he dared utter the sentence: “release him as soon as possible.” “No way jose, I’ll release him when little amphibians are crawling around in the apartment.”

Amphibian man at home, Elisa is now free to go full speed. “I saved your life, it’s time to repay me.” No name, no love kiss = we’re witnessing sexual abuse.

I know, there are many elements that are developed that at least hint at a love story. Yes. But are they convincing in any way ? Not one bit. The love story never becomes more than a crazy woman losing her head out of solitude and despair… just like Giles who fools himself into thinking he’s got a chance with the young clerk. What do you make of two hands pressed against a chest, against a heart, when THERE IS NO BEATING HEART INSIDE THE CHEST ? The love story is an illusion

Critics and spectators alike commented on the fact that the relationship goes very quickly, like love at first sight. So cute, again. Well maybe if things go so fast it’s because there’s no love story ? Like for example, Elisa is just a psychopath who takes advantage of the fact that ONE the creature will never dare reject her, TWO the creature can’t speak, THREE the creature will never dare reject her FOUR the creature is under a death threat, is tortured every day, doesn’t have anybody else to turn to and will never dare reject her.

You’re not yet convinced ? Elisa enters the bathroom and let her clothes fall to the floor.

"I heard you wanted to become a famous actor. Let's see how much you're ready to put into your roles."

"I heard you wanted to become a famous actor. Let's see how much you're ready to put into your roles."

You’re not convinced ? Elisa enters the bathroom and let her clothes fall to the floor. There’s no love kiss, no attempt of the creature at removing Elisa's clothes. Fascination and gratitude aren't sexual attraction.

You think it was done this way to underline that she takes the initiative, that she is a sexually mature woman ? Double fucking standards ! A man enters a room naked to ask sexual favours from a woman who knows that it's in her best interests to go along: It’s a piglike monster, a Harvey Weinstein, and it’s sexual assault. A Woman does the same thing: It’s a love story, she is admirable for her attitude which is obviously harmless because Women are harmless angels.

Did people need her to pull a gun to his head and shout “Get to work or you’re dead meat !” ?

That’s exactly the situation they’re in ! The creature’s life hangs by a thread. Elisa tells Strickland that he’s here, he’s dead. She stops bringing him salt ? He dies. He tries to escape ? He'll most probably die. She stops feeding him raw meat ? He… oh, wait, she does starve him to the point that he eats one of Giles’ cats (Called Pandora). How come ? Isn’t it strange that she should have risked her life to save the creature but didn’t listen to Dimitri’s advices on how to feed him ?

I'm pretty sure I wouldn't hesitate one second between this and having sex with Elisa.

I'm pretty sure I wouldn't hesitate one second between this and having sex with Elisa.

That’s because she doesn’t care about him beyond her own personal interests. If the Amphibian starves it’s fine, he’ll be more compliant. Who knows, he might even develop some sort of Stockholm syndrome out of mental weakness. The Shape of Water is a story of sexual and psychological abuse (and of much more).

Towards the end of the movie, the Amphibian becomes seriously ill. There’s blood spilling from his mouth and he is losing his scales.

Blood is spilling from his mouth = wounded interiority = spiritual/psychological wound.

Loss of scales = loss of his natural protections = loss of the desire to protect his life = loss of the desire to remain alive.

The Shape of Water (PG25) : Sequestration, Sexual Abuse, Crypto-Pedophilia... You Name It. (2000 words)

At the end of the movie, the Amphibian has reached a level of despair that is high enough to make him want to die and that’s why Elisa ends up deciding to free him, because it’s either this or he dies.

We take it for granted that the date she picks at the beginning is the date of his release. It’s only Giles who puts this idea in our heads but if we look at things with a critical eye, we can easily spot a contradiction in this scenario: Why should she keep him at the apartment when Strickland can appear at any moment ? Why taking multiple risks of getting everybody killed when Elisa could release the amphibian from day one ? Because she’s in love ? yeah, right.

The Shape of Water (PG25) : Sequestration, Sexual Abuse, Crypto-Pedophilia... You Name It. (2000 words)

Because as an amphibian her chances to be fecundated are a lot higher when it rains and what a coincidence, she picks the date that corresponds to the arrival of the rainy season.

Her plan is to get pregnant and release her offsprings, her larvas, into the channel. It’s not about the Amphibian. Why would the giant humanoid amphibian need the tide to be high ? HE CAN WALK !

 

There’s one missing aspect to the story that I saw nobody talk about: Elisa never ever effin’ reassures the creature. We don’t see her tell him when he’ll be free. We don’t see her tell him that everything is gonna be fine. We don’t see her ask him if he wants or need anything. There is ZERO interaction that would put forward her empathy or benevolence. The creature is most certainly in a state of constant panic and fear for its life.

And next to this giant void, we're given a lot of scenes in which Elisa actually interacts with the amphibian in a ridiculous, non-sensical way. The "Happy to have you as a friend" card is creepy as fuck. Is it really necessary to point out that the Amphibian cannot read ? She is psychopathically delusionnal. We're given an example of a less serious case with Giles who fancies the young clerk might be interested in him. But as for Elisa, she is just crazy.  

Everything is normal ! It's a fairy tale !

Everything is normal ! It's a fairy tale !

And last but not least: the creature has the psychological development OF A CHILD (It needs to be written in red). That’s a very important thing to notice and take into account, not only for the interpretation that I’m developing right now but for the general understanding of the meaning of this movie.

You worried about zoophilia ? Too bad the problem was pedophilia. You think I’m joking ? You think I’m exaggerating ? Wake up !

The relationship between Elisa and the amphibian is exactly the relationship between a child who has no strong self yet, who is fascinated by a mother figure and who would never be capable of saying NO.

The Shape of Water (PG25) : Sequestration, Sexual Abuse, Crypto-Pedophilia... You Name It. (2000 words)

The scene when the amphibian looks at Giles drawings hints at a psychological growth. The creature realises that he has an “I”, that he is somebody. In the following scene, he wants to die. Elisa abused him and destroyed him before he could realise it.

Spectators and critics perceive this story as the one of a strong, courageous, open-minded and benevolent woman who takes risks in order to protect powerlessness and innocence.

Well… they should really learn to try and look through appearances. 

 

 

 

 

 

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