Book Review: The Shape of Water - Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus



In an overwhelming majority, films are based on films. Sometimes it happens the other way around, when a feature wins its novelization. The Shape of Water it is a totally different case. The book was written along with the script for the film, which makes it something unique, like his twin sister who won the screens and several awards.

As twins, the two works have many similarities, but follow some different paths, mainly in relation to the characters. These get an introduction - like the capture of the God Gill -, reasons that lead other characters to take certain actions or make other decisions.

Anyway, the two are separated in few ways. Still, it's fun to watch the movie and read the book, or the other way around.

The authors, Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus, managed to put all the cinematic glimpse in lines. The reader can visualize the characters, the environment, and often go even further and smell the sweat and fear of the characters.

The development of each character is placed in its particular chapter, with parts of the past that are linked to events in the present, that will be connected in a single point in the narrative. The two manage to create a totally separate story, unique for each character in completely different worlds and that we would say impossible to one day cross, to happen just the opposite.

When we perceive Elisa's way of life, where everything is linked to water, we notice that there is no other way in this universe of the two very different characters not knowing. And at the same time, the anger we have for the soldiers who hunted and took Gill out of his place, ends up giving in to a thought, that if it weren't for these cold and "inhuman" events, they wouldn't have met.

Again Del Toro is able to show that pain and many terrible things that happen in our lives, can have a positive meaning at some point on this intricate road. The way the world goes is like water.

“We are going to live. We will have beauty, love and freedom. And I think that when you eliminate one side of the equation, it becomes pamphlet. When you use darkness to talk about light, it is reality ”.- Guilherme Del Toro in an interview

And this is what the book is about. About the ways people treat life. The slight nuances that water can have, such as relationships. Today the world is calm and suddenly a storm that can blind. We don't know where to go, whether to stand still or continue. And when everything stops, new forms have formed in our lives.

Here is a highlight for a quote by Bruce Lee, on which Del Toro was based for his story.

“Empty your mind of models, shapes, be as amorphous as water. You put water in a glass, it becomes the glass. You put the water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it in a kettle, it becomes the kettle. Water can flow, water can destroy. Be water my friend. ” - Bruce Lee

The book, like the film, could have several other titles, but Del Toro chose precisely water. And it is to be thought, since it does not have a form.

These are the points that the work brings us in each line, the various forms that the universe can give you to shape your destiny. And that not always events so sad, can serve to live forever in suffering, because he took you to other people who will come with you, to give new forms to your story.

“What is a ghost? A terrible event condemned to repeat itself over and over again? ”- A Espinha Do Diabo, by Guilherme Del Toro (2001)

Therefore, ghosts are created by each of us. And how they will haunt you, it just depends on how you deal with them. After all, The Shape of Water, is given by each one of us.


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