Jaws - A Movie Review
The famous line in 'Jaws' 'You're going to need a bigger boat' was improvised.
You’re going to need a bigger boat. I’m not kidding, I hear the music.
Caught out of the ocean in 1975, Jaws is based on the novel by Peter Benchley. The beaches of Amity are in danger of a man-eating shark. To put an end to the chaos, a local police officer, a marine biologist, and fisherman battle against the ferocious beast.
I had the most incredible opportunity to watch Jaws at the Wellfleet drive-in theater in Cape Cod. Even though I have seen this film countless times, I obtained a new meaning upon my most recent watch. When Jaws first hit the big screen no moviegoer wanted to set foot in the ocean. Jaws is a suspenseful film about the horrors of the ocean and speculates an unlikely friendship.
Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, and Robert Shaw made the ultimate team. The film does not shy away from conferring the animosity between these three men. Differing in personality, their relationship is one of the core elements in Jaws that I never focused on before. My favorite moment in the film is when the trio shares stories, their battle wounds, and then merrily sing a song.
Offscreen the actor’s relationship was strained. They made an impeccable effort delivering great drama, tension, and even recognizing that they’re not so different after all. You have to make an effort to get to know someone instead of building more tension. The entire third act of the film is well-acted, forcing the characters to face their insecurities in the seclusion of the ocean.
In a time before sharks were created with obvious fake CGI, I have a new respect for the lifelike model of the shark used for this film. For a long time, I have argued how the shark looks fake. My heart was pounding during the entire ending. The crew had a very tough time working with the robotic shark. With only four minutes of screentime, the shark made a huge impact.
Jaws would not be memorable without the talents of Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Susan Backlinie, Chris Rebello, Jay Mello, Lee Fierro, Jeffrey Voorhees, and an entire ensemble of screaming individuals who ran out of the ocean in terror.
The horror of Jaws begins in an instant. Reportedly Susan Backlinie (Chrissy Watkins) claims that she broke a rib in her infamous scene where she is thrashed about in the ocean.
Steven Spielberg went above and beyond in his direction. Not only did he focus on the horror aspect but Spielberg included time for the characters to evolve. It’s not just about the shark. His attention to character is one of the most appealing features of the film. One of my favorite aspects of Chief Brody is that he learns to believe in himself despite subconsciously feeling inferior.
Countless tales transpired from the making of Jaws. Did you know that the famous line in the film was improvised? Spielberg created well-timed jump scares and tension. Camera angles and editing were well-achieved. The climax is unforgettable in movie history donning a huge message about courage.
You have to admit that Jaws would not be Jaws without the bloodcurdling theme. John Williams’s menacing score is one of the best themes that prepares audiences for the worst. Horror is all about the unexpected. Jaws was voted #6 of the scariest films of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
Watching Jaws at the Wellfleet Drive-in was an experience that I will never forget. Jaws is a horror masterpiece of its time. The climax will keep you on the edge of your seat. Be aware that it is suspenseful and includes terrifying scenes.