It is pretty rare that a science fiction movie is given film’s highest honors. What is the real motivation for all the glowing acclaim heaped upon Guillermo del Toro’s science-fiction fairy tale about a love story between a mute woman and a man-fish god?
Secret societies have the greatest respect for art that hides a message or concept that is central to their reason for being. The more that the underlying message should be obvious – but yet remains undiscerned by the majority – the more that it is highly valued.
The hidden in plain sight message of “The shape Of Water” is both skillfully executed and exceedingly apparent to the members of the society. The highest honor is reserved for art that packages its message cleverly while leaving the uninitiated audience blind. This can be thought of as subtle way of planting a seed into the subconscious minds of the vulgar masses, so that they slowly come to accept the hidden message, they are more docile when steps are taken to implement the desired environmental change.
While it is customary to provide a spoiler alert notice before continuing with this type of commentary, I encourage anyone who hasn’t seen the movie to read on. Viewing the movie after absorbing the information listed here will provide a much more – enlightening experience.
The Shape of Water is a 2017 American fantasy drama film directed by Guillermo del Toro and written by del Toro and Vanessa Taylor. It stars Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Octavia Spencer.
The Shape of Water was awarded the Golden Lion for best film in the 74th Venice International Film Festival and has grossed $173 million worldwide. It received critical acclaim for its performances, screenplay, direction, visuals, production design, and musical score, with many critics calling it del Toro’s best work since Pan’s Labyrinth; the American Film Institute selected it as one of the top 10 films of the year. The film received a number of awards and nominations, including thirteen nominations at the 90th Academy Awards, where it won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design. It was nominated for seven awards at the 75th Golden Globe Awards, winning for Best Director and Best Original Score. At the 71st British Academy Film Awards, it received twelve nominations and won three awards, including Best Director. The film also earned fourteen nominations at the 23rd Critics’ Choice Awards and won four awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Set in Baltimore in 1962, the story follows a mute custodian at a high-security government laboratory who falls in love with a captured humanoid amphibian creature.
The opening scene reveals the sleeping Elisa Esposito, floating in a green room with sleeping “blinders”. Elisa was found in a river as an orphaned child with wounds on her neck, is mute, and communicates through sign language. She lives alone in an apartment above a cinema, and works as a cleaning woman at a secret government laboratory in Baltimore at the height of the Cold War. Her only friends are her homosexual next-door neighbor Giles, a struggling advertising illustrator who shares a strong bond with her, and her co-worker Zelda, an African American woman who also serves as her interpreter at work.
Elisa is the short form of Elisabeth from the Hebrew, Elisheva (“my God is an oath”). Esposito is derived from Latin expositus (“to place outside”, “to expose” or “placed outside”, “exposed”).
As well as physically being unable to communicate effectively, she lives an isolated existence, barely noticed by the many individuals at the laboratory; save for her few close friends.
Everyone wears green, the floors, wall, furniture and the lighting are all predominantly differing shades of green – although the color red often interrupts the monotone specifically around Elisa and her friends. The long dreary hallway leading from Elisa’s apartment is peculiarly unique in that it has half green and half red walls.
As the movie progresses it is revealed that green is the color of oppression, brutality, selfishness and greed. All these traits are exemplified in the evil colonel Richard Strickland, who is in charge of the project to study the mysterious creature that he captured in South America. Green is the color of money – capitalism.
While at work Elisa discovers the humanoid amphibian chained and hiding in a tank of murky green water and continues visiting him in secret until they form a close bond.
What is the monster? Who is Elisa?
The “monster” is the personification of the concept of socialist utopia.
Elisa is the representation of the oppressed masses under capitalism. Like Moses who led the Hebrews out of slavery, she too was discovered in a river.
Everything in the green world of The Shape of Water, the lab, colonel Strickland and his commanding general Frank Hoyt are the symbol of oppressive capitalism.
Being the first to see its beauty, Elisa falls in love with the sensitive and intelligent water monster. The eggs that she eats and feeds the monster are the seeds of the socialist utopian concept. They revive and sustain the creature. Actually, they are being consumed and digested by the very people watching the movie, although the majority of viewers are completely oblivious.
Richard Strickland , the evil capitalist oppressor, notices one of the eggs left by Elisa.
One of scientists on the monster project, Robert Hoffstetler, (who is also a Soviet spy named Dimitri Mosenkov) pleads unsuccessfully to keep the creature alive for further study and is ordered by his Soviet handlers to euthanize the creature.
Hoffstetler : I’m not competitive, I don’t want an intricate, beautiful thing destroyed!
Unlike his controllers, Hoffstetler saw that a quiet revolution from within could be the new hope – that is – the monster didn’t have to be given up on completely. It had to be nurtured in a different fashion.
Hoffstetler : [speaking Russian] As Lenin said, / There is no profit in last week’s fish.
Knowing that Strickland was planning to kill the monster, Elisa decides to rescue the creature and persuades Giles to help her free him. Hoffstetler discovers Elisa while she is attempting to free the creature form its chains and chooses to help her.
The song, “Chica, Chica, Boom, Chic” plays in the background while Elisa and her friends work to rescue the creature or as the evil Strickland refers to it ironically, the “asset”.
—–Here we must pause for a little historical background.—–
It is not well known that the 32nd president of the United Stated, Franklin Delano Roosevelt admired the political innovations of Benito Mussolini.
In 1933, FDR wrote that he was:
… much interested and deeply impressed by what he (Mussolini) has accomplished and by his evidenced honest purpose of restoring Italy and seeking to prevent general European trouble.
Later, the President wrote:
I don’t mind telling you in confidence that I am keeping in fairly close touch with the admirable Italian gentleman.
When Roosevelt took office in March 1933, he received an extraordinary delegation of powers from congress to cope with the Depression. During his three terms in office he instituted:
- Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
- Civil Works Administration (CWA)
- Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
- Federal Security Agency (FSA)
- Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC)
- National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA)
- Public Works Administration (PWA)
- Social Security Act (SSA)
- Works Progress Administration (WPA)
- Gold confiscation (Executive Order 6102)
All these “New Deal” programs were first implemented by Benito Mussolini while supreme leader (Duce) of post WWI Italy from 1922 to 1943.
The influence of Mussolini’s new leader concepts where not just admired and imitated by FDR as a potential remedy for the worldwide depression. At the same time the Brazilian president, Getúlio Vargas instituted his authoritarian regime known as the New State – also modeled on Mussolini’s Italy.
Since 1901, the United States periodically intervened militarily in Latin American to protect its interests. Roosevelt believed that the new, Mussolini-like policies that were developing in various South American countries should be allowed to develop unimpeded.
During his Inaugural Address Roosevelt stated:
In the field of World policy, I would dedicate this nation to the policy of the good neighbor, the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others, the neighbor who respects his obligations and respects the sanctity of his agreements in and with a World of neighbors.
This became known as the “Good Neighbor policy”.
Under the new policy, Roosevelt created the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (OCIAA) and appointed Nelson Rockefeller as its head.
The OCIAA Motion Picture Division worked to abolish preexisting stereotypes of Latin Americans by using “the power of Hollywood” and encouraged film studios to hire Latin Americans and to produce movies that placed Latin America in a favorable light.
One film star who emerged then was Carmen Miranda (1909-1955). She was a Portuguese-born Brazilian samba singer, dancer, and film star who was popular from the 1930s to the 1950s. Nicknamed “The Brazilian Bombshell”, Miranda was noted for her signature fruit hat outfit she wore in her American films.
What does her background singing during the monster rescue scene and appearance on the black and white television mean?
The Good Neighbor Policy ended with the death of FDR and Cold War era that started in 1945 and was still going strongly during the time set in The Shape of Water (1962), as the United States sought to protect the Western Hemisphere from Soviet influence.
Carmen was a representation of the hope of communist domination that had a real chance of gaining a foothold after the great depression but was stifled after the Allied victory in WWII. Karl Marx argued that the change toward socialism should be implemented by organized revolutionary action (violent revolution) by the working class. At the height of the cold war in the United States, this would have been impossible. Carmen Miranda was both a nostalgic hope of socialist transition from the past as well as herald of hope towards success the future. The new method of Marxist conversion – and the Shape of Water symbolizes this idea – to subvert a nation from within by subtly turning the green to red.
Chica, Chica, Boom, Chic was recorded by Miranda for her 1941 film, “That Night in Rio,” based on the 1934 play, “The Red Cat” by Marxist-inspired political radical, Rudolph Lothar Spitzer (1865-1943)
Not only is Carmen the hope of the adoption of socialism past and future, her song references the “monster” directly.
Lyrics to “Chica Chica Boom Chic”:
Come on and sing the Chica Chica Boom Chic
That crazy thing, the Chica Chica Boom Chic
Brazilians found the Chica Chica Boom Chic
They like the sound of Chica Chica Boom Chic
It came down the Amazon from the jungles
Where the natives greet ev’ry one they meet beatin’ on a tom tom
Boom chi-boom chi-boom, boom chi-boom chi-boom.
It don’t make sense, The Chica Chica Boom Chic
But it’s immense, the Chica Chica Boom Chic
That’s all you’ve got to say to chase the jinx away
Chica Chica Boom, Chica Chica Boom
Chica Chica Boom Chic! Boom Chic!
Strickland had remarked:
The natives in the Amazon worshiped it. Like a god. We need to take it apart, learn how it works.
Elisa successfully rescues the creature and revives it with salt in her bathtub. Later, Giles discovers the creature devouring Pandora, his pet cat.
Startled, the creature slashes Giles’s arm and rushes out of the apartment. The creature gets as far as the theater downstairs before Elisa finds him.
At the theater a vivid red suddenly replaces the oppressive green color theme. The rows of velvet seats cast a cheery red glow on the ornate brass decorations surrounding the hall. The creature stands majestically while quietly regarding a scene in “The Ten Commandments” depicting the Hebrews moving heavy blocks of stone while being whipped by their slave master.
Guillermo del Toro packs a lot of subtlety in this portion of the movie. Why would the intelligent and gentle creature suddenly feel threatened by his rescuer’s house cat to the point of chewing off its head?
In a sly reversal of the obvious, the fish hungers for the cat. It this case however the cat is named Pandora, after the first human woman created by the gods of Greek mythology. Pandora was responsible for releasing all the evils of humanity into the world. Capitalism was the “cat that was let out of the bag” so to speak and the fish-man-god would eliminate of all the evils of the world, essentially having the power through Marxism to put the cat (evil of capitalism) back in the bag.
After slashing Giles, the creature runs down to the theater. The theater is the vehicle used today for the transformation of society mind. The vulgar masses actually pay for admission to the propaganda fed to them with artful subtlety, so that they might bring about the very utopia that the monster personifies. To accentuate this point, the monster (by chance) happens to appear while the state of the capitalistic world plays out symbolically through the film scene of slave oppression. While the very personification of the answer to the world’s “slavery” stands watching, hope is illustrated all around in brilliant red.
After her successful rescue operation Elisa returns to work. The audience might notice that she has adopted a bit of red in her wardrobe in the form a red hair band.
Elisa quickly develops romantic feelings and sexual interest in the creature and from this point on her wardrobe changes to all red.
Marxists have no use for religion or for people to believe in God. If there is to be any religion or “god” it must be that the concept of a god should be replaced by the concept of Marxism itself or that a Marxist leader should become a god to the masses.
Consider the peculiar date that Elisa planned to liberate both herself and her “god”.
Wednesday, October 10th
Incredibly, Wednesday, October 10th 1945 was the foundation of the “Central Organizing Committee of the Communist Party of North Korea“.
The Party Foundation Day commemorates this event and is an annual public holiday in North Korea. It is one of the most important holidays of the country, along with the Day of the Sun (birthday of Kim Il-sung), Day of the Shining Star (birthday of Kim Jong-il) and Day of the Foundation of the Republic.
A common defamatory tactic in Hollywood movies used specifically in their war against Christianity is to represent the most deviant and loathsome characters as people who do evil while rationalizing their actions as somehow sanctioned by God through their belief in Him.
Strickland : That’s right. And I should know, I dragged that… filthy thing… out of the river muck in South America all the way here. And along the way we didn’t get to like each other much. Now. You may think, “That thing looks human.” Stands on two legs, right? But – we’re created in the Lord’s image. You don’t think that’s what the Lord looks like, do you?
While interrogating Zelda for information on the Elisa’s plans, Strickland relates the story of Samson. (For anyone familiar with the story, the temple that Samson destroyed was the temple of Dagon – who is often depicted as a fish-man-god.)
Strickland : [to Zelda] That story about Samson, I never told you how it ends. After the Philistines torture him and blind him, Samson asks God for the strength he needs. And at the last minute he is spared. And the Lord gives him his strength back one last time. And he holds the columns of the temple with his powerful arms, and he crushes them. And he brings the whole building down on the Philistines. He dies, but he gets every single one of those motherfuckers. That is his will! Now, do you know what that particular story means for us, Delilah? It means if you know something you’re not telling me you’re gonna tell me either before or after I bring this particular temple down upon our heads.
At the canal, Elisa and Giles bid farewell to the creature, but Strickland arrives and attacks them all. Strickland knocks Giles down and shoots the creature and Elisa, who both appear to die. However, the creature heals himself and slashes Strickland’s throat, killing him.
The creature dies – is then reborn and kills capitalism once and for all.
Just before his end Strickland proclaims, “You are a god!”
Elisa was out of her natural element in the world but finally could exist in her natural state in the new environment made possible by her love of the creature –her god – that her gave her new life. She was now in her element (the water – socialist utopia) the place where all of mankind needs to be but yet fails to recognize.