How is ‘Jaws’ becoming the biggest summer movie all over again?
In the time of the coronavirus, people are returning to different films to reflect this new times we live in. At the beginning, it was Contagion. Now, it seems, the Jaws is the movie of the hour. Why is there a sudden interest in Jaws? What is about the movie that has people returning now, more than ever, to see it?
Well, look at the times that we’re living in. In Jaws, there was a largely unseen threat lurking under the surface of day to day life. Sound familiar? Every interaction today is colored by fear of the coronavirus. We’re packing hand sanitizer by the dozen and wearing masks like they’re going out of style.
Despite this, however, there are people, much like the mayor in Jaws, that just want to get everything to normal as soon as possible. Since the coronavirus is not affecting them directly, then what does it matter? They should be worried about getting things opened and back to normal, right?
If Jaws was a movie released today, then it would be praised as a metaphor of this messy, pandemic world that we live in. People are dying from something known but unseen and those in charge probably do not to care. Instead, it comes down to people defying those orders in order to protect themselves and others.
Then it comes down to well, how Jaws changed movies in general. Jaws is the first summer blockbuster. Right now, with theatres maybe reopening in July across the US, this will still be a gamble in terms of summertime viewing, most of the blockbusters have been delayed and postponed, or just outright released online.
It’s an odd state of fear and paranoia that we live in, just like the people of the beach town of Amity. There are suspicious glances, a fear that just won’t seem to quit, and people flocking to the beach despite the metaphorical (and literal?) giant shark of a global pandemic staring them in the face.
Jaws is resurfacing as the biggest movie of the summer because, well, it’s become timely. More to the point, Jaws is a movie that has a huge threat, but the threat is ultimately defeated. Right now, it feels like we’re never going to see the end of the pandemic that it will just keep going, but, well, someday . . . someday that can change.
As people, we need stories were, despite fear and strife, there is something like a happy ending. Within Jaws, we see a movie version of our world as it currently is reflected back at us. But it’s a world where the threat is ultimately handled and dealt with, which makes it an important story to see. We need to see something like a happy ending because right now the world is very grim.
Also, Jaws is just a great summer movie. So that probably has something to do with its resurgence as well.