If I were to crudely describe this film to someone, I would describe it as a cross between Martin Scorsese's Hugo and The Beauty and the Beast. Both of those are great films, mind you. But, sadly, this film isn't quite immediately memorable as those two.
Not to say the film isn't good. It is, largely because Sally Hawkins is simply breathtaking in every frame she is in. And not only her but, in fact, the entire ensemble is really impressive. These performances, in addition to an excellent background score by Alexandre Desplat, are easily the film's highlights.
However, this Guillermo Del Toro pet project is far from perfect. The legendary filmmaker who is known for his affinity for monsters follows a similar path here. And the resulting romance between a mute woman and an imprisoned aquatic God, does make you empathise with the so-called monsters of our society.
But the film suffers from a predictable plotline and a slight overdose of quirkiness allowed by the filmmaker. And this makes this otherwise charming romantic story a drag for some of its running time.
Though having said that, this film does have a beating heart working at its core. And if you possess the patience and wide-eyed romanticism of its filmmaker, it will prove to be a satisfying experience.