Jaws (1975) Review
Written by: the5thdroog
If you’re expecting to actually read a straight forward review here, you’re not going to get it. I mean I don’t think anyone out there needs me to tell them how great a movie this is. I would just like to make a few comments on the movie that put sharks on the map in my life and almost took them off the map in reality. Not that this is going to be some sort of save the shark campaign either. I just want to talk about the movie and what it meant to me.
I actually saw this at a theater when I was 4 years old. The don’t remember the movie actually ever scaring me. It actually made me really like sharks. Not that I was anti-people or anything, I just thought the shark (which didn’t seem as robotic to me then) was like nothing I’d ever seen before. Then I realized later that this giant wasn’t made up, but something that is actually in the ocean. I started getting picture books just because they had sharks in them. So watching this movie then, I couldn’t get enough of it.
I watched it again yesterday with my 4 year old son. In light of recent events, the passing of Roy Schieder, I wanted to revisit that small boat that was chasing down that big fish. I’m now 36 and the movie is still one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. Of course these days, I pick up on how stupid the people of the town are and the political aspects of trying to make sure the beach stays open so the community won’t be crushed financially, but that shark (Bruce as I’ve come to know what they named it) is still there and still amazing. My son kept on asking me when Bruce was going to show up and if we where ever going to get to see him, I guess I was the same way. Now I can see how perfectly cast a movie this was and that there really isn’t anything you would want to change about it. I’ve said before Roy Schieder IS Chief Brody to me and I meant it. Maybe it is because he has been stained on my brain as being him, but I couldn’t picture anyone else of that time doing a better job. You can’t escape how natural being a stubborn old fish boat captain came for Robert Shaw. Richard Dreyfuss can still be found playing those I’m smarter than you are roles that he did so well here. I have no idea how their relationship was off screen (maybe I should watch more of my extras), but I wouldn’t be surprised if they had the same interactions behind the camera as they did in front of it.
The music has become one of the most recognized for any movie. John Williams has a way of making the music just as much a part of the movie as any of the actors. I mean you take away the music and you’ve got an entirely different and probably not as good film. He has a way of making sure the audience knows he is the one behind the music in anything he does and that is a great quality to have. I think this was the first movie where I actually began to realize how great music could be for the quality of the movie. A few years later it would happen again for me in Star Wars, again John Williams.
I’m not a huge Spielberg fan , but he helped capture the feeling of being isolated on that boat in the middle of the ocean. The one thing I was never completely sure on was why they had to go so far out to catch a shark that had been feeding within a hundred yards of the shore, but I can get past that. I never read the book (ouch, hate to admit that), so maybe there is more to that part of it in there. I can’t really say too much else about the direction of the film because it was all just done so well, but one thing that stands out to me is the last time we see the mayor he is just kind of a bumbling idiot which is actually what he was every time you saw him, it was just finally able to reach the surface in that scene because he knows how wrong he was.
I guess it became more of a review than I thought, but it is just hard to actually say I’m writing a review for a movie that can probably be found on just about anyone’s top 10 favorites anywhere. The one thing I do want to say is the remake monkeys have to stay away from this one PLEASE! You can not make a better or updated version of this movie. Like I said I watched it the first time when I was 4 and couldn’t get enough of it. I watched for probably about the 30th time when I was 36 and I still can’t get enough of it.