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Jaws (1975)

Jaws (1975)

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Published by kinblob
Jaws. Film Review
Jaws. Film Review

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Published by: kinblob on Feb 10, 2013
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07/25/2013

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Jaws (1975)
Steven Spielberg
Cast
Roy Scheider ... BrodyRobert Shaw ... QuintRichard Dreyfuss ... HooperLorraine Gary ... Ellen BrodyMurray Hamilton ... VaughnCarl Gottlieb ... MeadowsJeffrey Kramer ... Hendricks (as Jeffrey C. Kramer)Susan Backlinie ... ChrissieJonathan Filley ... CassidyTed Grossman ... Estuary VictimChris Rebello ... Michael BrodyJay Mello ... Sean BrodyLee Fierro ... Mrs. KintnerJeffrey Voorhees ... Alex KintnerCraig Kingsbury ... Ben Gardner
 
Figure 1. Film Poster
 
Jaws is one of the very few films that makes the audience feel nothing towards a character after watching them being rippedapart by a shark, films like Final Destination have a similar feeling where the audience awaits the death of another character.Steven Spielberg
s Action thriller is a film about a man eating shark based on a novel of the same name by Peter Benchley, thoughthe novel doesn
t compare to the classic that is Jaws, the author co-wrote the film adaption, Jaws is a film that displays goodediting prowess and understanding of the camera, this all well and good but it could have damaged the success of the film as
there’re
no characters who connect to the audience, but the popularity of the film on release says a lot about the society
sconsciousness.Spielberg
s film is very atmospheric, it does a good job of bringing the audience into this world, however comical it
s believablemostly because it
doesn’t
constantly scream in your face but gradually builds suspense, and it makes you wait. Where the filmfails is in character development, all the characters are odd and seem out of place, the main character
s just barely able to passas a believable character, but to the benefit of the film the shark (which physically isn
t believable) stands out, it
s a real threatand as well as being the films McGuffin it pushes the male lead and becomes the main character, though it isn
t visible most partof the film do to how the story is structured there
s this 3D effect happening where the shark
s presence is felt everywhere
 
“  
the menace is utterly realistic 
”  
 
(Maslin, 2012), the shark
s the most threating and scary when it isn
t visible and this is a testament tothe director, they weren
t able to achieved realism with the technology available but they used other means and it was successful.Visually the film isn
t special, but what it loses in its visuals it more than makes up for with atmosphere and suspense, Jaws needsto be studied further to understand why it works, it
s weird formula isn
t fully understood but what seemed like random choices ofcamera angles and shots all worked together to scare the audience when it wants to.
Figure 2.
Jaws’
main character?
 
 The star of the film is the shark and none of the human characters are memorable, they
re almost invisible and almost all thecharacters are replaceable,
“  
characters are simply functions of the action 
”  
(Canby, 1975), they
re like stage hands, only showingimportance when they
re needed before retreating backstage with their tails behind they
re back, Characters are needed butaren
t important, they seem to be there as a little catalyst that pushed the story forward.With a film like Jaws Spielberg
s intentions come to question, it might be clear by the way the film was structured and he mighthave been successful, in an online article Spielberg is quoted saying
“  
I wanted to make a movie that left its mark, not at the box 
office but on people’s consciousness”  
(Graham, 2012), and it
s evident that though character come off a bit plastic, this was hisintentions, so the film was successful in many ways. The editing of the film was done by Verna Fields and in many ways this is whatgot into people consciousness, as the shark in the film is famously known to look unrealistic, it was the editing that made Jawswhat it was.Unlike most films Jaws doesn
t build suspense with silence, but it guides the viewer with an interesting music score which build upto a brink where the viewer is left waiting, audio is very important in this film, and it wouldn
t work without it down to the fact thatthe film tells the audience what to think without them knowing, it guides you till it has you where it wants you before throwing ashark in your face, this might be overlooked but it was essential for Jaws successful jump scares .In a review written by Dan Rubey he describes how the film should be approached, he states that Jaws
“  
should be approached  critically in terms of that consciousness rather than as the private vision of a director 
”  
 
(Rubey, 1976) though this seems todiscredit Spielberg for the success of the film, it shows the directors awareness of the public and how he
s able to make the bestout a collective mind set, technically Jaws is brilliant and it achieves what it Spielberg set out to do, this meant it matured gravelyand years later in 2013 the film shows it
s age, but the art of the superb editing and display atmosphere still remains.
Figure 3. The leading man?

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