Highly considered to be one of the greatest, scariest and most influential films of all time, Jaws is not only the film that made Steven Spielberg into a household name, it also changed the way Hollywood promoted its films, pioneering the summer blockbuster cinema and establishing the modern Hollywood business model. It also inspired three sequels, but won’t talk about them for now.
Based on the 1974 novel of the same name by Peter Benchley, Jaws is set in the fictional town of Amity Island and concerns about police chef Martin Brody, who is trying to hunt down a man eating white shark who is attacking beachgoers with the help of marine biologist Matt Hooper and local fisherman Quint.
The film does an excellent job in providing tension throughout its runtime and building up suspense towards the shark’s appearance, as it manages not to show the shark all the time, but not denying its existence, and when the shark appears, it manages to scare the audience in an effective way. The first half of the film does a great job in establishing the shark as well as keeping the audience at the edge of their seat.
The filmmaking aspects are also worth admiring; the practical effects do a great job in bringing the shark to life and making it realistic. The camerawork does a great job in making the shark’s presence more ominous and the fast paced editing adds more to the film’s tension. John Williams’ incredible score does a brilliant job in amplifying the tension. The performances by the cast is great, especially Roy Schieder as Martin Brody, Richard Dreyfuss as Matt Hooper and Robert Shaw as Quint.
The flaw I found in the film is that the second half isn’t as compelling as the first half and drags the film’s pacing a bit. Still, it’s no secret why people still consider Jaws one of the greatest films ever made. A monumental moment in cinema history, Jaws is the film that set the stage for the rest of Steven Spielberg’s career and became pivotal for establishing the modern Hollywood blockbuster. Still one of the most suspenseful movies ever made and it’s one of these movies that still stands the test of time.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ½