My first movie for this blog is 1975’s Jaws. Starring Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss, Jaws tells the story of a New York beach town that is met by doom when a great white shark moves to town and starts committing premeditated homicide on fat Americans. I chose this film because it’s Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, and I figured I would pay homage. Jaws was made from a novel by Peter Benchley, which was inspired by a true story of a shark attack in a New Jersey lake.
When I told people I would be watching this movie for the blog, a lot of people told me it was a “perfect” movie. I guess I can see how people would say that, but for me it fell just a little flat. I enjoyed it overall, but I don’t think it’s perfect.
The movie wasted no time on the action, with the first victim dying less than 3 minutes in. I really liked that it didn’t take long to get right into the story- I’m not a fan of a ton of long, drawn out exposition in a movie. Right off the bat, though, I got angry at most of the characters.
It was really frustrating to me how political the town was – the character of Chief Brody was trying really hard to keep these people safe, and it was more about money and not disturbing the fun holiday weekend for everyone. Although it was making me mental to watch the attitudes of all these people, it hit me that it was probably very realistic. That is probably exactly what would happen in real life. And that made me very sad.
The thing I hated about this movie is that everyone was annoying. I had no empathy for any of the characters in this film, which was hard to deal with. They were all stereotypical selfish, lazy stupid Americans who cared more about their own leisure than human life. So when people started dying, I felt like they deserved it. Even when the kids died I didn't feel bad- their parents' pain seemed startlingly deserved to me. Almost as if the shark was performing his own natural selection.
Hooper, clearly, was the best character in the film. That didn’t surprise me – he was great. I loved how matter-of-fact he was about the whole thing- it was just “I can help you, or you all can die. Your choice.” He and the Chief were the only ones who made any sense throughout the whole movie.
The scenes with the shark were fun – watching it for the first time almost 35 years after it was made obviously makes me biased toward special effects. It clearly was not the best quality
My favorite part about the whole film was the score. I absolutely LOVED the music, and I thought it was one part about the movie that was truly perfect. It was dark and moody, then all of a sudden it was uplifting and jolly, and it kind of catches you off guard.
Overall, I did like this movie. It got to my emotions, but not in the way I expected. It wasn’t scary and I didn’t connect with the characters, but it pissed me off and I found myself caring about what happened even if I didn’t care about the people.
I give Jaws 3.5 out of 5.