Jaws

Jaws ★★★★★

Imagine standing in line. A warm day in June, basking in the glory of a sunny afternoon, with your stomach full after a late lunch (probably pizza) and your excitement reaching a pinnacle that is consistent with every other teenager and 20 year old in line. The trailer and the posters were enough, as everyone is out and ready to see this movie. It's about a giant shark, and It's directed by a guy that hasn't done much. You go in, buy a massive bucket of salty and dangerously buttery popcorn, and you race to find the best seat that you can manage.

And then the movie starts. It's the equivalent of stepping into a hurricane with a cheap umbrella, which signifies how unprepared you really are. The film hits you with unmistakable bravado, class, mastery of craft, and beauty. Comedy, terror, suspense, humor, and character all combine into a film that isn't just a film. Rather its something equivalent to a cinematic milestone, where the collective audience is experiencing something different and game-changing. Jaws is beyond description, and the depths of both artistry and entertainment that it reaches is unparalleled in movie history.

The moments contrasting horror and opaque grace punctuate the salty atmosphere that swallows everything up, and the film rides a seductive line between life and death. Every single scene feels historical, but at the same time, it is as timeless, funny, endearing and adventurous as anything that's been committed to celluloid. Steven Spielberg brings the directorial flourish in multiple sustained sequences of petrifying panic and loss. Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss bring characters that are both wholly unique and memorable. John Williams crafts one of the greatest musical scores of all time. Bill Butler shoots fictional Amity Island with peaceful chaos and experimental distress. I mean, what aspect of this film isn't perfection?

I wasn't even close to being alive in 1975. Ah, if only I had a time machine.

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