The year is 1962. Elisa Esposito, mute her whole life, works as a janitor at Occam Aerospace Research Center in Baltimore, along with her friend Zelda.
Elisa’s monotonous life takes a turn when she meets with the amphibious man who is kept in the Center to be studied by Richard Strickland, the soldier who captured him in the Amazon. Elisa and the creature automatically feel drawn to each other and start to communicate with sign language. Soon, they develop a deep love for each other.
Strickland, obsessed with the creature in a twisted way, wants to dissect it before the Russians get ahold of it. To save her beloved from the hands of Strickland and the Russians, Elisa, with the help of her friend Zelda and her neighbor Giles, must orchestrate a plan to sneak the amphibious man out of Occam unnoticed.
GENRES: Historical Fiction, Sci-Fi, Romance
As most of you probably already know, The Shape of Water is also a movie directed by Guillermo del Toro. It was released at the end of 2017 and received numerous awards since it came out.
Until recently, it was unclear to me whether the movie was based on the novel or the other way around, since the book was released only a short while after the movie. Turns out the answer is neither of the foregoing options.
I found out in an article that The Shape of Water was actually Daniel Kraus’ idea, not del Toro’s, and that Kraus shared his idea with the famous director when they were working together on some other project. Del Toro loved it, and together they decided to make a movie and a novel out of it. Both were written simultaneously and independently, though del Toro and Kraus talked a lot about where the story would go as they were working on it.
The result? Two extremely similar stories, with just a couple of differences. In this case, is the book really better than the movie? Or can you get the most out of the story by watching the movie only?