I found The Shape of Water to be very strange - but beautifully so. We open on a woman who lives a highly regulated life - she follows her daily routine at home, then goes to the night shift at her job, cleaning a secret government facility. Her name is Eliza, she is mute, and I felt immediately drawn into her story. On this particular day, a new "asset" is brought in to the facility - a creature that lives in water, and Eliza begins to observe the men who are investigating this new life form.
One man, a scientist, seems to genuinely care about the creature, about what he might learn from it. Another man seems to care only about controlling it, keeping it chained up and treating it violently with a cattle prod. When the creature fights back by biting two of his fingers off, he only ups his level of cruelty and control. But silent Eliza is able to slip in around the shadows, visiting the locked facility on her lunch break. She learns to communicate with the creature, through sign language, music, and knowing glances. They develop a bond and she begins to genuinely care for it.
When she overhears a plan that threatens the creatures life, she makes plans to rescue it, enlisting her friends and the caring scientist to help. Here is where things take an odd turn into a romance that I did not expect. You'll have to see it for yourself to see what you think! Overall I think the movie was well done - the visuals were stunning, the creature was fascinating to watch, and I was invested in the story all the way to the end.