Through comparing the Hollywood films Arrival and The Shape of Water, this article explicates the films’ similar portrayals of gender, social collaboration, and monstrosity. Although the mainstream media in the United States has linked the idea of the monstrous to larger global forces, the two films suggest that “the monster” exists much closer to home. Hence, this article makes the case that monstrosity occurs in a variety of formulations such as the actions of national authorities like governmental officials that oppress and endanger a myriad of American citizens as well as newcomers. Further, this article makes the case that the films of Guillermo del Toro and Denis Villeneuve encourage viewers to reimagine the idea of monstrosity and its relationality to several spaces for the sake of the greater public good.
"Rethinking the Monstrous: Gender, Otherness, and Space in the Cinematic Storytelling of Arrival and The Shape of Water."
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