Jaws ★★★★★

I've seen JAWS more times than I've seen any other movie, yet each time I am still surprised by something - a detail I had missed, or the emotional weight of a line seems heavier. I can let the big shocking moments pass while I concentrate on other things, and I think that's a part of what makes this film so great. The internal struggles are suggested, touched on briefly and then passed over. In the scene where Hooper and Brody go out and find Ben Gardner's boat, Brody reveals that he came to Amity because in New York he felt like one man couldn't make a difference. How many times did I see this movie before I realized the gravity of this admission, missed it because of the shock scare that comes right after? The mayor starts to become a sympathetic character rather than an instrument of corruption. What at first glance is a simple "man vs shark" story is much more complex than that, with much of the conflict between the residents of the island and between the three men sent to save it, boiling under the surface. Everyone talks about Quint's famous speech, but how about the moment when he hands out life jackets? The moment when he rolls through the harbor laughing at the puny dead shark, his boat looking like a haunted house? So much is told through expressions and glances. The most tension doesn't even come from the shark, but from the dread implied. When Mrs. Brody tells her husband she packed his extra glasses and blistex and sunscreen, this meek list of supplies tells us how terrified he is. The important part isn't that you notice these things, but that you feel them. They stick in your subconcious and effect how you view what comes after without you knowing it, as all good foreshadowing should. The triumph over the shark is amplified by the fact that we know this is Brody's big moment, that he did something he didn't believe he was capable of and finally made a difference. I could write a paragraph about what I love for every scene. I'm sure I've forgotten plenty, and I'll have to come back and edit this or start over again..

As for the backstory, is there any better argument for "roll with your mistakes" than the making of JAWS? I love that about it, like there was some sort of supernatural influence at every turn that made the final film possible.

I can't decide which of my favorite quotes to leave you with, so I'll put them both:

"Anyway, we delivered the bomb."
"It's only an island if you look at it from the water."

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