Spanish director Guillermo Del Toro's latest offering the The Shape of Water is a much lighter, more positive film than what we are used to by him. The dark and austere qualities are not completely absent; but there is an unusually upbeat, pleasant undercurrent proposed by the presence of a likeable, endearing lead Eliza Esposito (Sally Hawkins), clichéd yet welcomed humour and the overall pleasant neo-gothic '50s fairy-tale like aesthetics.

The story is centred around the charming and sweet mute Eliza, who seems to be living in some musical, as her routine is detailed in a rhythmically choreographed fashion; from waking up, to boiling eggs for breakfast, her daily masturbating on the bath, feeding her gay neighbour Giles (Richard Jenkins), her bus route to work, working nights as a cleaner in government research facility along with her yappy colleague Zelda (Octavia Spencer). It's not until an evil FBI agent Stickland (Michael Shannon) appears one day bringing with him a captive life-sized lizard-looking mermaid, who may actually be an Amazonian god.

What follows is Eliza developing a relationship with the creature and wanting to set him free before he is butchered at the hands of scientists. Sally Hawkins gives Eliza a likeable and mischievous quality, as well as a vulnerability which harbours a steely determination beneath it.  Del Toro gives an old Hollywood glamour with the depiction of the '50s, Cadillacs and dinners, with noir movies, are constantly blaring out of some TV. A beautiful, dreamy film where you can easily escape and be carried away.