Jaws came on television tonight. First I thought, oh wow, was it really that long ago? I decided that indeed it was; the commercials even played seventies music. Then the second thing I did was remember why I don’t swim in oceans. Still, although I did for awhile…even swimming to the second sandbar off South Padre Island. Eeek!…all those unseen critters swimming below that incredible deep spot before you hit the part where you can stand.
I like Jaws because it’s a real movie, of which, there are very few today. I like the plot, and all the multiple conflicts: man against man, man against nature, man against himself. There’s that overwhelming denial when the residents of the town, especially the city council, don’t want to admit that something is terribly wrong beneath that brimming blue sea.
The sad, heavy feeling of helplessness that emerges with each fatal attack. The anguish that you can almost feel as Ellen, the mom, is running along the dock when the shark has been spotted in the lagoon where her son is on a float. She is running, legs heavy, lungs full, running like she has to run, that incredible, overpowering weakness setting in, fighting futility. Running and running, but never quite reaching where she needs to be. I’ve done that one.
Man against nature, the massive finned beast. No need for explanation there, except that the shark seems smarter than average. The shark takes and takes, seemingly taunting the islanders into action. Chief Brody is ironically a landlubber and really not a deep sea guy who tables his fear and signs up to help the shark expert and the semi-psycho Quint, the saucy old seafaring shark killer. Quint is a special case, a man on a mission. He is going to destroy that shark and sissies need not apply. He won’t listen to Brody’s plea for a bigger boat. Quint looks out into the fathomless deep and embraces pure destruction.
All in all, the movie is worth watching time and again. Plus I like the seventies décor, ha ha, lime green daisies, anybody? Well, it will be time to get back in the water before you know it!