Critical Review Of The Film Jaws

The film “JAWS” was a 1975 summer blockbuster that terrified a large percentage of people from entering the depths of the water.

“JAWS” is about one shark that finds a great feeding place on the beaches of Amity Island where there is a great supply of food. The Chief of police, an “oceanographer” who is skilled in the knowledge of sharks, and an old crazy fishermen go out in search and destroy of the beast that has caused mass terror on their hometown. Through their adventure, they are tormented by the attacks of the shark to their boat that will eventually lead to the sinking and the death of the “crazy fisherman”, Quint. As a possible final moment for the chief of police, Brody, he shoots an air tank that he previously shoved in the creature’s mouth, causing the shark to blow up, thus ending the reign of attacks by the beast.

The setting of the film is contained in a “normal world” on the town in Amity Island, it then transitions into the open wide Ocean. When the setting is on Amity Island there is a small scare factor as to when the citizens are in the water if they see a shark they are still at risk of being attacked; however, the people still have the safety blanket of being near land and can just run/swim towards it. When we transition to the Ocean we are taken out of our own area and put in the Shark’s domain. The scale factor dramatically increases as Brody, Quint, and Hooper are at the Shark’s will many times, such as when they shoot three barrels into the shark and their boat is dragged and almost sunk by it.

A narrative element in the film “JAWS” would be that “Monsters must be vanquished or destroyed to restore normalcy”. This is clear in the movie as the monster shark is causing horrendous actions. Killing four people and one dog within the span of a couple of days. Theoretically, once the shark is dead the town of Amity Island, should retrieve back to the ways of its own normality. How this impacts the cinematic experience and impacts the viewer’s viewing experience is that we the viewer feel much better knowing that the beast that was causing mass terror is now dead.

Another narrative element of that is within this film is that the “Protagonist is usually the only character who recognizes the evidence of a threat”. This can be seen as Brody and Hooper try to convince the Mayor when they have seen a shark tooth, Ben Gardern’s boat sunken, and the shark attacks that have been occurring. The Mayor is ignoring the attacks and does not want his summer income from beach travelers to drop if they hear of a monstrous shark attacking and going as it pleases. How this impacts the viewer’s experience is that this helps the viewer see what other kinds of struggles the main protagonists face other than the obvious shark.

The 1975 film “JAWS” deserved its golden globe and its “people’s choice award”. “JAWS” is a great example of a thriller/suspenseful movie, due to its build-up in suspense with its soundtrack and it’s in a “normal” world (Amity Island to be specific) that is threatened by the arrival of an “other” (the shark in JAWS). Another aspect as to why this is a great example of a thriller/suspense film is that the “monster”, (the shark), must be vanquished in order to restore normalcy, which happens when Brody explodes the shark. In my opinion, there are more than enough examples to watch this film for its content as a thriller/suspenseful film.

A quote I found analyzing the film was in the “Thriller/Suspense Genre: JAWS (1975)” film notes handed out to us. “Equal parts monster movie, swashbuckling ocean adventure, a political thriller, and bromance, Universal pictures’ Jaws is about an enormous shark preying upon an idyllic seaside resort town and three very different men who team up to stop it”.