*Master story teller Guillermo del Toro does it again and scores with another bizarre, captivating tale.

The Shape of Water,” an other-worldly fable set against the backdrop of the Cold War era, entertains on many levels.

In the hidden high-security government laboratory where lonely, yet engaging Elisa (Sally Hawkins) works, her life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment on the “Asset”—think “Creature From the Black Lagoon.” But in this case, espionage ensues when the Russian government wants to steal the Asset away from the US.

Elisa falls in love with the Asset and it with her, qualifying this film also as a fairy-tale love story. Besides the great Spencer, one of my favorite actors Michael Shannon—not far from his role as Zod in “Superman”—stars as the demented, cruel handler Richard Strickland. He’s not only a racist, homophobic, and sexist but more of a beast than his catch, the Asset. And the jokes in this well scripted movie never stops.

Octavia Spencer (3rd from left) and Sally Hawkins being grilled by Michael Shannon in ‘The Shape of Water.’

The extraordinary cast also includes Doug Jones as the Asset, neighbor Richard Jenkins, and Michael Stuhlbarg.

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