Jaws ★★★★★

"You're gonna need a bigger boat."

Jaws is a masterpiece. The film will forever be known for two things: director Steven Spielberg's unique "shark-eye view" camera work, building of suspense and composer John Williams' two note "attack" motif that became as iconic as any piece of music ever created. Perhaps those two aspects alone would have been enough to make "Jaws" an iconic film, who knows, but the fact is, this 1975 effort is about so much more than just suspense/horror. It's one of the most well-rounded, complete films ever made.

For a very basic overview, "Jaws" tells the story of the coastal town of Amity, which suddenly and inexplicably becomes the hunting grounds for a rogue Great White shark. Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) wants to close down the beaches until further notice, but is opposed every step of the way by city official Mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton), who worries about the potential loss of tourist business. When the attacks continue, however, Brody enlists the help of shark expert Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and grizzled boatsman Quint (Robert Shaw) to help hunt down the giant predator.

What really makes the film work are the three leads. They share an impeccable chemistry between each other. Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) is a paranoid police chief, Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) is hilarious as the wisecracking marine biologist, who frequently butt heads with the rough and tough fisherman Quint (Robert Shaw). The three leads make these character believable and so the audience can go on a real journey with them.

The film was known for have technical difficulties with the animatronic shark, but that was a blessing in disguise because of this, Steven Spielberg manages to create tension and fear among the audience because you don't see the shark at all. Leaving your imagination to do all the work. The opening scene is downright terrifying hearing the woman screaming in agony, being dragged around by a shark we cannot see. Also, the use of barrels was a stroke of genus by Steven Spielberg and his team as it implied that the shark was near or present.

I cannot see this film without Steven Spielberg. In the end he put all this together, with no script, no crew, technical malfunctions and scrutiny. How Steven Spielberg managed to pull this film off under massive pressure is beyond me. It's a testament on how great he is. Give credit to the writers Peter Benchley, Carl Gottlieb and uncredited writer Howard Sackler for providing the film's story and sharp dialog.

Overall, Jaws is one of the best thrillers ever made, as well as being firmly ensconced in film history and part of popular culture.

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