Sunday, April 21, 2019

The Shape of Water, (2017)- R

The Beauty and the Beast is a fable that has received criticism from progressives and feminists. They argue this myth teaches that a girl doing good to a beast (read physical and emotional abuser) will at some point convert the beast to a loving and long term partner. They further argue that this and other similar fables implant in young children’s minds harmful role models such as martyrdom and abuser. The correct message they say, should be that when faced with a beast, escape.

Now comes the Academy Award (Best Picture, no less) winning picture The Shape of Water. This is another Beauty and the Beast film, or is it? 

Sally Hawkins, playing a middle age cleaning lady, starts the film taking care of herself. Yes, she starts the film is a nude bathtub scene, masturbating. She portrays throughout the film a woman in control taking care of her needs therefore overcoming her inability to speak. This is not the average beauty and the beast story.

This film is a story of sexual and emotional passion received and given. It is not a story of converting the beast to become a loving helpmate. Rather it is a story of converting the beast to be an erotic playmate. The value of this story and the remake of the “beast” paradigm is that it presents a woman who takes care of her needs which leads to survival and freedom of both her and the beast. 

The film has some very beautiful erotic scenes. It is a good film but maybe not a great film. It is a film worth seeing.

Paul Bray 4/17/19 Available everywhere

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