This is the first time I see this movie, it never caught my attention because, who wants to see a shark killing a bunch of tourists. At least that was my first impression about this flick. Aside from my opinion, this movie created some kind of a trend among the next generations, there are references of this movie everywhere. It is a successful movie no doubt about it and I just realized that after a saw it. I tried to brake down every detail of this movie; the plot, the setting, the year, the music, the characters, etc. and let me tell you, this is a good work, perhaps I’m old fashioned, but nowadays you don’t get to see films like this anymore.
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Let’s start from the beginning; You can tell the right away that the film takes place in the 70’s just by looking everybody’s hair styles. About the young couple running on the beach, it seemed to me like a cliché, you know what is going to happen. Interesting fact, when the shark is approaching to the girl in the water you can see a source of light that is reflecting from above even though the sun is rising, perhaps is the moon.
On the next scene we can see one of the main characters of this film, chief Brody (Roy Scheider) beginning a normal day until, he pick up the phone, then the plot comes to life. A girl missing, a hangover man, confused and worried, and a police officer shocked of what he found, the hand of the missing girl covered by crabs and seaweed. These events forced the chief to close the beach, but this is not good for the authorities of Amity, because they depend on the incomes for the 4th of July therefore the beach remains open. The music announcing that the shark is approaching reminds me of Psycho (1960) by Hitchcock, when the killer attacks the girl in the shower, the music tell you that the killer is going to make his move. After the Mayor offers a reward for this shark, the greed and the ignorance of the people take place; you can see blood buckets, dynamite, and screams, after all they are fishermen right… And they caught a large tiger shark, but this isn’t the shark according to the oceanographer Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss). He makes a suggestion to the chief that they need to make an autopsy to the shark, thing that they do latter that night proving that, that shark is not the one that killed those two persons.
The 4th of July arrives, and the tourist with it, despite the warnings of the chief officer and the oceanographer to the Mayor this one refuses to close the beach for the holyday, and another incident takes place, forcing the Mayor to hire Quint (Robert Shaw) a bizarre but fearless fisherman. The next day they set sail offshore to hunt the shark; in some shots you can see clearly that they are in a set instead of the ocean; I think that’s one of the differences between those movies and the actual movies, In the actual movies you can’t distinguish the difference between the set and a real scenario. Another movie reference is when Quint and Matt starts comparing their scars, which reminds me of Lethal Weapon 3 (1992), when Mel Gibson and Rene Russo start comparing their scars, maybe the director took this part of Jaws as a reference.
Near the end of the film, and after several attempts of catching the shark, the crew starts losing their minds, proving that this shark is way smarter than three grown-ups, after all it’s a movie. On the final attempt, Matt submerges inside the shark-proof cage to inject the shark with strychnine using a hypodermic spear, unfortunately he can’t make it and swims to a reef for shelter. Then the shark attack the boat with furious anger, and killing Quint in the process, after the chief escapes a certain death he uses one of the oxygen tanks and throws it to the shark’s mouth, and one of the most shocking deaths for an animal takes place, he start shooting to the tank inside the shark’s mouth creating a huge explosion and putting an end to the shark problem.
In conclusion, this movie now a classic is a mixture of comedy, and terror. I’m sure many people that went to see this movie back in 1975 were really afraid to get in the water after watching this movie. But that’s the beauty of films, they mess around with the perception of our reality, make us see the world from another perspective, and at the same time they inspire us to create fantastic stories for the coming generations.
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