Americans seem to share their core values in almost every aspect of life including movie. Some movies are produced to signify the culture values to the audience beside entertaining them, Shape of Water (directed by Guillermo del Toro, 2017) as an example. In this essay, materialism which was vastly reflected by Colonel Richard Strickland character, would be taken into deep consideration. This movie illustrates the time 1960s in Baltimore, the height of the Cold War in American. Elisa, a cannot-speaking woman working as a cleaning staff in a laboratory where the government secretly confine a special living creature.
Elisa finds herself fascinated by the creature. They make friends and fall in love with each other. Then, she takes an action to rescue the creature with the support of her friends, Giles – neighbour and Zelda – her colleague. However, they would face a harsh problem with Colonel Richard Strickland, who is in charge of exploiting the creature to benefit American government. At the end of the movie, Colonel Strickland is killed by the creature. The movie has an open ending which is not clearly state that Elisa and the creature would be happy forever together. However, Elisa could begin her new journey on Earth’s water and the creature completely back to the water too. Some people said that the Shape of Water is an esthetic story about a living creature and a young mute woman.
The others believe that Shape of water should be a modern fairy tale between a mysterious prince and a beautiful princess. You may have your point of view. However, it would be a movie that especially soothe the soul of people in modern pace of living. On the other hand, how about materialism and acquisitive that somehow reflected as a springboard to reinforce that fairy tale? The truly audience or a critical person may think about this argument. The character Colonel Strickland was developed as the main antagonist, and the audience may thought about him like a representative for American materialism. He was the person discovering the creature at the river in South America. The creature was believed to have largely benefits for American in the Space Race.
Colonel Strickland was taken in charge of dissected the creature for the improvement of the Space Race by his superior. During the movie, the audience properly realise the insult from Colonel Strickland to the creature. Notice the scenes from the time 28:16 to 29:18, he refused to accept the creature as a human even though it probably had some human characteristics. He used the creature as a tool for his target .Plus, between 17:33 to 17:45, his quote somehow conveys the materialism harm a spirit of himself.
He seemed to show lack of respect through some weird words and act toward his upper class. When the creature was rescued from laboratory successfully, Strickland especially suspect Elisa and her friend were standing behind. However, he suddenly rejected his assumption because of Elisa’s lower social class, this point show in the movie scene from 1:14:03 and 1:15:38.
American people may not think they are materialism than others foreigner think about them. The materialism may be affected by working or action orientation and ‘can-do’ spirit. When they were born, they was taught to be independent.
Growing up, they tend to set the goal for life and do everything to reach without caring about the broken relationship. The notions of achieving has a deep root in their mind. They particularly focus on their target and they believe material things have strong connection to happiness.
They try hard to work and they need to receive what they totally deserve for. The materialism get people more likely to value others through their possession and social class. In addition, American also dream take a lot of effect on the way they live. They probably like to have more and more. Desire to purchase unnecessary and luxury items then they might throw away after that.
In today society, according to the press of Khurram, S. American seem to be more and more materialism. Especially on holiday, they willing to pay more than usual, and this is seen as a marketing bait for business to making a bargain. Christmas Eve nearly bring the materialism to children.
For example, children highly desire to receive gifts from Santa Clause and he is usually known for that purpose. About marriage, the divorce issue has been increasing due to the fact of financial problem (Independent). In the end of the Shape of Water, Colonel Strickland was attacked and Elisa was cured by the creature. The director implies to audiences that pursuit of happiness would win in the competition with materialism. This movie is associated with fiction; however, the real material and living things are an indispensable parts to produce a film. Therefore, after watching the Shape of water, American value of materialism should be considered.