Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
This is going back a bit I know but it’s not that dated apart from the 70s clothes and hairstyles and I quite like all that anyway. Some people seem to think Jaws is a horror film but it’s not really it’s just a thriller and it’s not even that scary.
You probably know the plot it’s about a shark that’s terrorising an American island just off the coast a bit like the Isle of Wight I guess but at first the mayor tries to play it down when someone gets attacked because they rely on tourism and nobody wants to go to a beach where they could get eaten.
The police chief Chief Brody is new – it’s a guy called Roy Scheider who I’ve only ever seen in one other film which is strange because he’s quite a good actor. Not my cup of tea to look at but my Mum liked him you know what she’s like anything in a uniform. Brody’s come from New York and he thinks this place is going to be easy compared to the Big Apple but he gets a shock when all this starts happening.
There’s a funny old fisherman Quint who isn’t afraid of anything but he’s old fashioned and this young hotshot Richard Dreyfuss turns up he’s a rich kid and he doesn’t have much experience but lots of new gear.
Eventually Chief Brody and Richard go out with Quint on his boat and they find this huge shark and they have to kill it but they can’t do it too quickly or the film would of been too short. Bit of a technical insite for you there you pick these things up when you think about films like I do.
They fire harpoons at the shark with lines on them attached to these barrels full of air which are hard to pull under the water but the shark is very powerful and it’s also quite smart. You don’t see the shark much because obviously they didn’t have a tame one they could teach to act and its hard to make a fake one look realistic so most of the time you just know its there because the music does that deep sin-sister thing which is enough to give you the willies. That was probably Steven Spielberg’s idea he directed it and he’s not stupid is he.
Richard even gets into a cage in the sea and tries to inject the shark with poison but it smashes the cage and he’s lucky to get away. Then the shark smashes the boat up its getting angry by now and it eats Quint he kind of slides down into its mouth that’s quite scary I suppose.
In the end its Chief Brody who kills it he throws a scuba diving tank in its mouth and shoots it with a gun so it explodes.
You see it’s all blokes there’s not really a “strong female lead” as they say just the chief’s wife whose trying to keep the kids safe. It was in the days when there was a lot of sexism about I suppose but at least the females that are in the film aren’t just soppy. Nowadays if they remade it they’d have Emma Watson or somebody as the young hotshot which would be different.