|PLEASE WATCH THE TRAILER BELOW FIRST AND THEN COME BACK AND READ THIS CAPTION, because it's not going to make sense unless you know what the film is about. Who is the mute woman Eliza in the film? She is Eliza Doolittle from the 1964 George Cukor classic My Fair Lady with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. In the film, Eliza (hepburn) is a poor flower girl, and she has an obnoxious accent and exceedingly poor grammar; she goes to Professor Higgins (Harrison) for lessons so she can speak properly and attain better employment for herself; in the process, she and Higgins fall in love and Eliza advances in society and Higgins advances in the realm of human emotions. In The Shape Of Water, we can see how del Toro has divided Harrison's character of Higgins into two different characters to examine Higgins' own duel motivations for helping Eliza in My Fair Lady: Higgins is both the "professor" character who we hear speaking at the very start of the trailer (I believe he's portrayed by Nick Searcy, but I might be wrong about that, his character isn't listed on the IMDB casting for The Shape Of Water), and see again later as he translates Eliza's sign language, and then Higgins' is also Strickland (Michael Shannon) the one who is a scientist and doesn't believe in what really makes us human. So, in the opening lines of the film, we hear the words describing Eliza as "the princess without voice," and that refers to Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady when her big debut is at a fancy ball and, because her speech has become so impeccable, she is mistaken for a princess, but in a way, it's not Eliza Doolittle's voice, it's Higgins' voice he has given her. The big question is, then: why does del Toro want to draw people's attention to the film My Fair Lady and the events of 1963, when the film takes place? Because in American politics today, feminists claim that men have taken away the voice of women, that men have silenced women and held them back from advancing in society. As a woman myself, I know nothing could be further from the truth: every single man in my life, from ALL of my male professors, to the men in my family and social circles, have wanted nothing but my total success and complete happiness; if anyone was holding me back, it was my very own self. I will stand by that until the day that I die. Anyway, we have Eliza, the woman literally, with no voice, but she's not just a woman, she is a princess; why? Because of the inherent dignity of women with which God created us. In the trailer, we see Strickland telling Eliza, "The Lord created us in His image. You don't think the Lord looks like that, do you?" but the physical appearance of humans isn't what is being discussed, rather, the image of God within our souls and our capacity to love and to sacrifice for love, that is the image of God in which we were created. Without someone to love, we are, just like Eliza, a little cleaning woman, with no voice. But when we have that "other," our dignity becomes complete.|
Let me count the ways,....
Water, shall be first.
There are three manifestations of water as a symbol (along with the moon and dogs, water is one of the most complicated and organic of all symbols, and I mean "complicated," why? Because it's essential for life: of all the different cultures through history who have existed, all of them have depended upon water for survival, therefore, water itself can be about survival, and each artist infuses their ideas of what is necessary for life into their symbolism of what water means, or, if you will, what the "shape of water" is; but here are some simplified paths for us to take): water takes on many forms, complicating its identity even further (liquid, vapor [fog or clouds] and solid) but first is the liquid form.
In deep water.
Specifically, a white man.
At 2:02 in the trailer, very briefly, we see the Creature in the movie theater, standing and watching a film, which is most likely about killing him/his kind; why? Because hasn't that been what every pro-socialist film has been about lately? Wonder Woman, The Magnificent Seven, Logan, Pirates Of the Caribbean 5, Guardians Of the Galaxy Vol 2, etc., have all killed the white male leads because they are white, heterosexual males who are the power-holders in American society and have supposedly "oppressed" everyone else so that no one else could achieve anything, and this "creature" we see is the only one who can make Eliza happy; why? Love. It's with those same men that women still fall in love, still find a common language that we can share with each other, enjoy the same music together, share a little meal, and see one another the way God created us--with dignity and in His image for the capacity to love and sacrifice for that love--rather than how the world (i.e., liberals) tells us how to see each other and ourselves. This is the most old-fashioned kind of love story there is, a boy and a girl, who are outcasts until they find each other and love the other for what they are; only a man can give this to a woman and only a woman can give this to a man, because that is how "being complete" works.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner