The Shape Of Water Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score The Shape Of Water by Alexandre Desplat.
At a glance:
Geek Score: 87.3
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 16.8
Album Excellence: 33.7%
The Shape Of Water is a 2017 American fantasy drama film directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer & Michael Shannon. From master story teller, Guillermo del Toro, comes THE SHAPE OF WATER – an other-worldly fable, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment. Rounding out the cast are Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg and Doug Jones. The score is composed by Alexandre Desplat.
Well well, this movie has a lot of hype and rightly so. It’s Del Toro. If the movie is crap or great has perhaps less importance than whether it can bring the fantasy out and knowing Del Toro, that’s not going to be the issue. Del Toro isn’t one for sticking with one composer all his life and has chosen composers based on the project. I do believe this is Del Toro and Desplat’s first shindig together and that’s exciting. Can they bring the best out of each other? The score opens with the title cue ‘The Shape Of Water’ and Desplat is using a watery instrument that sounds like he’s playing on bottles carrying various amounts of water. There’s whistling as well. It’s certainly inventive, but maybe not the theme itself. I like that it feels like it could pass for a 60s theme apart from the various bottle effects. Am I going to forget it once I am done? Probably.
I find it more interesting when ‘The Creature’ arrives and I suspect that’s one of the movie’s highlights. Desplat has written better monster music before, but this will do. I love the garbled flute in the underscore. It makes me feel suspense, but not of this era. Also, I think Desplat wanted to give the monster depth but still be scary. A Godzilla type monster theme isn’t what Del Toro had in mind for the creature. It’s a love story after all. ‘Elisa’s Theme’ is one of carefree happiness, a bit French and a bit of countryside. She doesn’t appear to be the cynical big city girl in the music at least. It doesn’t do much for me, but maybe it does wonders for Elisa. This score is basically Desplat in he’s favorite element if you like that kind of thing. However I’m sometimes confused if this is a quaint French small town drama, a spy drama or a Del Toro fantasy film. I just don’t see how they can combine successfully, not this time at least. The thing is, it’s very nice to listen to, pleasant even and the love theme is really nice. When it gets really big and dramatic like in ‘Rainy Day’ it shines. However there are times, I just want to skip ahead to find the interesting music. There isn’t too much of that sadly, but there’s some and within each cue there’s something to keep you holding on to the end, but it’s sadly a rather unsatisfying overall listening experience.
3. The Creature
12. Underwater Kiss
17. Overflow Of Love
18. Without You
19. Rainy Day
20. A Princess Without A Voice