Jaws

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Cecilia Ramirez
Serafini
Film-Analysis (2)
11 April, 2013

Shark Encounters
Steven Spielberg created a film based off the thriller novel, Jaws, by Peter Benchley. Both the movie and the book tell the story of a giant man-eating great white shark and focus on the terror brought to the people of Amity Island. The movie does follow the novel’s main story line closely, however, when a producer turns a book into a film, it’s practical for one to thicken its plot line, and for two, tell the original story. The horror brought by the shark’s attacks are illustrated vividly throughout the text, as the film on the other hand , does not express the genre as the way the text does.

In the novel, Benchley comes off very strong with the first attack of the great white shark. The sharks first prey is Christina Watkins, also known as Chrissie. Benchley creates suspense throughout the text in the way that he would go back and forth with Chrissie minding her own business in the water swimming, and back to the shark’s wave vibrations. “The woman continued to swim far awayfrom the beach, stopping now and then to check her position by the lights shining from the house. . . the vibrations were stronger now, and the fish recognized prey. The sweeps of its tail quickened, thrusting the giant body forward with a speed that agitated the tiny phosphorescent animals in the water and caused them to glow, casting a mantle sparks over the fish” (4,5). In this quote, the author describes both the shark’s and the woman’s actions. Peter Benchley uses dramatic irony to detail the fish’s approach. The vibration causes the shark to lurk through the water and the surroundings to create suspense of what is going to happen. In contrast, the film portrays the shark’s first attack on prey quite differently. Christina Watkins attack was straight forward with very little suspense. The attack wasn’t catchy, sneaky or scary. The viewer does not see the shark, but only his point of view of...
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