If you enjoy Nicholas Cage films, then The Shape of the Water is a must-watch of the 2017 Oscar season. Not just because Nicholas Cage stars in it, but because it also stars John Travolta acting as Nicholas Cage. Nicholas Cage attempts to play John Travolta, but fails and ends up playing himself anyway so the audience gets to watch two Nicholas Cages for the price of one. Unless you downloaded the film illegally, in which case the price is irrelevant.
The Shape of the Water is about an FBI agent who swaps faces with a criminal genius because he lost a bet during a classic Best Of 7 Series of Guess Who since we all know how intense that game can get. Nicholas Cage correctly guesses that he’s Eric, and it’s a typical swap-faces-to-save-the-world plot that audiences have come to know and love.
Why was the film named The Shape of Water? I’m not a movie buff myself, but there certainly were a lot of shapes in it. Mostly prisms. If there’s an artsy technique for naming something abstractly, then this film uses that technique extensively. But that’s not where the expert use of film techniques stop. I can’t think of any examples off the top of my head, but there was a lot of camerawork that makes me think at least one camera was used to film it.
But the most common critique of this film is that the technology to swap faces doesn’t exist. To that I say that the technology might not exist today, but it did in 1997 when the story is set. If you don’t believe me, you should watch the documentary Face/Off. Although I haven’t seen it, I’ve heard it’s pretty good.