Is there such a thing as a perfect film? One that knows what it wants to achieve and does it, flawlessly, artfully and intelligently? If so, then ‘Jaws’ is as good a candidate as any. Thirty-seven years on (and reissued in a new HD print), this tale of an island community terrorised by a killer shark still feels timeless and terrifying. The characterisation is precise and acutely observed (it’s one of the great guys-on-a-mission flicks), the dialogue is witty and wise, and the plot fits together like a finely crafted watch. The performances – not just leads, but the kids, townsfolk and the grief-stricken mother too – are impeccable. Best of all is Steven Spielberg’s direction: the camera moves like a predatory animal, gliding eerily across the surface of the vast Atlantic, creating sequences of almost unbearable suspense (never mind that the scariest scene was shot in a swimming pool). It’s no wonder a generation of holidaymakers still thinks twice before stepping into the water.
|Release date:||Friday June 15 2012|
Cast and crew
Average User Rating
4.5 / 5
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Gripping though it is, Jaws is let down by the Hollywood sweetening of the novel. In the book, Matt Hooper has an affair with the sheriff's wife – and is 'punished' in the end by becoming shark-food. Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider [great performance from this under-valued actor] swimming off together doesn't have the same power.
Also worth noting: the score for this movie is so central to its cinematic power that John Williams should get billing equal to Spielberg's.