the_ruck’s review published on Letterboxd:
Well, I dedicate my 3000th film or rather my 3000th film entry on Letterboxd to a very special film. A film I've really never seen before and there's actually no reason for that. Somehow I just always pushed Jaws aside and pushed it up further and further, but now the time has come, I have seen the film and am just thrilled.
But what else can you expect from Steven Spielberg? He simply has an incredible range and has so many different genres in his filmography around action, adventure, war film, comedy, children's film, sci-fi, most recently musical and with Jaws he has proven that he is also great in the horror/thriller genre. This man simply knows how to tell stories, build up characters, build tension and captivate the viewer to the screen and he proves that anew in every film.
Well, that what makes the film so special and stands out from other shark films is of course the tension, the incredible tension that mounts more and more until it comes to the climax. The special thing about the tension in Jaws is that a huge mystery is being built around the white shark. At first you see a few killings of the beast and of course only expect a normal shark attack. But without seeing the shark, as a spectator you learn more and more details about the shark that all indicate that this is not a normal shark.
It is particularly important that the shark is never really shown at first, because then the mystery is expanded much further. As a spectator, you wonder what this beast must be and then when you finally see the shark, it is much bigger than expected.
Of course, this would only be half as impressive if the shark had been computer-animated, because then you could certainly no longer take the film seriously today. But luckily they decided against it and Bruce still looks fantastic today. Oh yes, Steven Spielberg called the shark Bruce, perhaps after his lawyer, who hast the same name. But in any case, the beast in the film looks really impressive and that's why it was certainly worth building the shark instead of animating it. Although the shark has sunk on the first attempt to put it in the water, because it has never been checked its water suitability.
But be that as it may, the film offers such incredible tension that is getting worse and more acute and also a realistic-looking shark. But another special aspect is, of course, the horror factor. Because it is not without reason that the film is one of the only five horror films that has received an Academy Award. Well, I thought at first that the film would not be scary and would rather go in the direction of a thriller. That's true, but the horror aspect was still captured magnificently. There were even two moments when I really shrugged and that doesn't happen often with horror movies. Probably it's just because Jaws simply offers a fantastic and immersive experience, so that you are so deep in the story that you sympathize with the characters at all times and are therefore frightened.
Well, speaking of characters, because these were also written really brilliantly and also fantastically embodied by the actors. Roy Scheider plays the protagonist and he is completely convincing in his role. He plays a police chief of a smaller island town and he is the only one who actually has his heart in the right place and is not interested in profit. In addition, he also has a personal interest in killing the shark, as he feels guilty not to have done anything earlier to close the beach. The fact that he is also afraid of the water simply makes him a great character in the film.
Richard Dreyfuss actually plays the second leading role and is also fantastic in his role. His character is a kind of shark or fish expert, who once again brings a slightly different perspective into the film.
And then of course there is Robert Shaw in the role of Quint. Even if he actually plays an asshole in the film, he still plays it really convincingly and with great joy. But his character is at least as important as the other two, as he brings another new perspective into the film. As a result, there are three characters that are all very different, but still pursue a common goal.
The characters are particularly important in the film because they conveyed the feelings of the whole event. When they see the shark for the first time and are completely amazed by this size and at the same time afraid, this is really important, because this is the same effect as in Jurassic Park. If the characters react only half-heartedly and as if it were nothing special, then of course we feel the same. But fortunately, the actors convey the feelings of their characters really great, so that we as viewers naturally sympathize much more.
Of course, the soundtrack should also be mentioned, because once again John Williams is responsible for how it actually befits Steven Spielberg films. His theme of the film is at least as iconic as the film itself and anyone who hears this theme will probably immediately associate it with the film.
Well, it is probably not without reason that the film when it was released, could record the greatest revenue ever, until Star Wars replaced it. Because Jaws is simply an immersive, exciting, thrilling and unforgettable experience that perfectly combines the thriller and horror genre and just delivers a damn great experience.