The shape of water is a highly ingenious film from Guillermo del Toro. The film swept two Oscars for the Best Picture and Best Director. At its core, the film tells the story of a fish god who falls in love with a mute woman. The plot is absurd in all capacity but the experience at large is incredible.
But the Del Toro film has an important hidden cue that most audiences fail to notice. The film predominantly focuses on the amphibious organism that was retrieved from South Africa. The creature was considered a god by the people around him. He possesses regenerative and healing abilities.
Because of his unusual appearance and abilities, he holds our attention for a longer span of time. What we don’t see is how Elisa is almost as special as this creature. She has the most intriguing backstory of all and you can’t help but wonder if there is more to her than what we see in the film.
She is introduced as an orphan who was the fund with a lot of bruises on her neck and a damaged voice box. She eventually falls for the amphibious fish-god who later transforms her scars into gills as a part of their “happily ever after” underwater life.
But how can that be possible unless Elisa herself has some genes that make this transformation possible? We can’t help but wonder that there is more to Elisa than the film tells us.
A theory claims that Elisa could have been a part fish creature like the man she loves or a full-fledged fish creature at one point in her life and later transformed to become human.
Here is your evidence:
- Elisa was retrieved near a river as a child with those scars on her neck. It is possible that the river was her natural habitat before she became human.
- She has no fear of water drowning her when she fills the bathroom with water to be with the fish creature. As a human, she is supposed to show at least slight signs of nervousness but that does not happen at all.
- Her Sexual desires come alive in the water. She feels herself in her bathtub on a regular basis giving her physical needs a rather aquatic spin.
- The fish-god in all certainty is shown to have only regenerative and healing powers. At best he has time reversing abilities that explain how he can re-grow hair on a bald man’s head. So how then was he able to provide Elisa with gills? That seems a little out of place. The only possible explanation to this is that the lines that appear on Elisa’s neck are rather a dormant form of gills. They are awfully straight to look like scars. What the creature does here is, he simply restored her closed gills. And she is mute because she never was born to speak like a normal human.
- Her attraction to the creature is bizarre and was a subject of criticism among the audiences. We wonder first that this could probably be like a pitiful attraction to a lonely captive creature. But the attraction goes on to become a romantic relationship. It is not like the creature is attracted to a human or harbors any sort of intelligence. It is a beast in all stripes and at one point eats the head of a cat. It is almost impossible for a normal human to feel attracted to this creature, let alone the desire to have to get intimate with it.
But it all makes sense once we think of Elisa as just another fish creature herself. The two seem to understand each other’s deepest emotions. The fish-god takes care of Elisa when she feels lonely and broken. This explains all of it.
The film intends on exploring the theme of forbidden love and this theory kind of contradicts that. But since people did have an issue with interspecies eroticism, this seems like a fitting reason to call it justified.