To say that Steven Spielberg’s Jaws is an iconic film is a massive understatement. After the film was released in 1975 it spiked two major changes: that summer, the number of beach-goers was reduced significantly. Also, after the film’s release, there was a massive increase in the number of great white shark huntings. So aside from proving the point that Hollywood can drive an entire species into the endangered list; Jaws has proven that with a well written script and excellent cinematography, movies can really change the world around us.
The First Bite
Based on a bestselling novel, Jaws (in retrospect) is a part-slasher-flick, part-Moby-Dick allegory. The film depicts sharks as cold, calculating, and ever vicious hunters, and in particular, heavily paints the great white shark as a malicious killer. While this is not exactly true in real life (the chances of getting killed by a shark on the beach is so low, you might as well try getting murdered by another human instead -since that is far more likelier to happen).
Of course, real life statistics have little to do with the silver screen, and with Spielberg’s expert hands and direction, the film took on a life of its’ own. Painting the world with deep characters, a thrilling premise, and an antagonist so menacing that even without dialogue, the shark’s presence alone chews up the whole scenery.
The general story is that a small beach town is left unaware of the threat of a shark due to the mayor’s interference. However, as the attacks get more frequent, the local sheriff teams up with a shark hunter and a biological expert in order to bring down the shark. Of course, you can imagine how many scary shark attacks happen from the start of the film till the very end. We will not be spoiling the film’s ending, but in our honest opinion, it was pretty anti-climactic – you’d probably satisfying those blood spilling and thrilling out of controlling your shark in these games – www.sharkattackgames.net or the official jaws revenge game for android and iphones. The good thing is that you would have been at the edge of your seat for most of the film that you may actually appreciate the breather.
The Studio Strikes Again
Spielberg loved what he did with the first film that he considered it the definitive shark movie. Well, he is actually right about that. Now, more than 30 years after the first film’s release, the original Jaws is still as iconic as ever. But that did not stop the studios from wanting another bloody shark movie to bring in the profits. With Spielberg no longer interested in helming another Jaws film, the movie took on a new direction.
Jaws 2 was originally envisioned by creators to be focused on a real ship sinking (which was mentioned in the dialogue of the first film). However, this draft went through massive rewrites (and the crew was eventually replaced, even the new director), until it eventually became a story that followed the events of the first film.
A Third Dimension
The third Jaws film was titled: Jaws 3D, noting the film’s ordinal position in the series, and also, the fact that parts of the film could be viewed with 3D glasses. Since this was done back in 1983, and without the use of modern day technology, the whole 3D thing was just a novelty.
This movie shows how far off from the original the film has gone: the story is now set in an all new location completely without any relation to the story of the first two films. A Florida-based marine park becomes the new target of the great white and there are still plenty of unlikely victims to be had. The film was generally a commercial success, though at this point it was pretty obvious that the series was losing its’ luster.
Making it Personal
The fourth, and last, Jaws film focuses on the wife of Sheriff Brody (a previous character in the original). The film focuses on the “bond” between her and the shark, and how the great white seems focused on killing her family.
While the premise does have a wee bit of potential, the delivery and the tired approach to the script is clearly evident in the movie. If you simply just have to see all four Jaws films, then go ahead and watch this. Otherwise, you can stick to the first two films and be fine (actually, the first film alone is the only one important).
Changing the World
Jaws film series is not influential on Hollywood and movie goers; that trait has solely been claimed by the first film. The movie not only launched Spielberg’s name but it also created a new movie sub-genre: animal rampage movies.
The thing people remember most about Jaws is how the suspense played a key role in the movie. After all, for most of the movie, we never really see the shark. In fact, the now-iconic imagery of the shark’s fin cutting across the surface of the water was all it took to send shivers down the spine of viewers. By combining careful camerawork with the viewer’s own imagination and fears, Jaws created a tense and scary atmosphere where one could be easily bitten in half by a giant meat-eating fish.
Of course, creating this film was no easy task. When interviewed about why he did not direct the second film, Spielberg did not limit himself to just saying that his first was already definitive, he also alluded to the fact that filming at sea is a dreadful experience. Considering that the movie was shot back in the 1970’s, it is likely that a majority of the filming equipment and props (and in particular, the mechanical shark) would not be suited for the harshness of salt water.
The film itself was an accidental masterpiece and has attracted a cult following on sites such as www.jawsmovie.com, with much of the iconic dialogue being adlibbed on the set, and the studios’ gamble on taking on Steven Spielberg (who was oretty much nameless at that time). Also, Jaws is one of the few rare occurrences of the film being so much better than the book -the movie characters were far more likeable, and the story was not filled with little distracting details that kept the focus away from the building tension.