2005-03-07 - 11:25 a.m.

I love the movie Jaws. I've seen it dozens of times and still each time I see it while flipping through the channels I get drawn in. I know exactly how every scene goes and I know how it ends and it still is a lovely experience. Well, perhaps lovely is the wrong word since a good chunk of the movie involves people being torn apart and/or being eaten by a nasty shark. Anyway, it's a great cinematic experience, how about that?

When I was a kid, my parents used to joke that I rooted for the shark. I liked movies where the monster was worth rooting for, such as the old Godzilla movies where Godzilla is called upon to defend the earth from evil aliens. However, I never really cheered for the shark in Jaws. The shark really scared me. Whenever I spend time swimming in the ocean I always half expect to see a big old shark taking a bite out of me.

But that's beside the point. My question is: Why do people get so upset when they know how a book or movie is going to end? I went to see the Lord of the Rings movies knowing how they would end (since I had read the books). If anything, knowing the ending enriches my experience since I can see the author's (or director's) use of foreshadowing and other techniques - both thematic and cinematic.

I think it goes back to the notion that many people carry around that art is a puzzle. I've complained about this in the past and it bugs me to this day. Figuring out how a movie works is a great thing, but being able to guess the ending of a movie does not make a bad movie.

I keep forgetting that I'm in the minority here, as I really pissed off someone by accidentally telling them something that was going to happen a few chapters ahead of where they were in the book. I didn't even give away the ending. This detail was in the first half of the book and I just forgot the order of events (I'm really bad at remembering the order in which things happen!) and assumed that she had already read that part.

Anyway, if you are reading this: Forgive me!

I know that your anger was mostly mocking, but I actually feel bad. It's such a good book that I feel bad if I detracted even a little from the overall experience. I just love this book that much that I want everyone to love it as much as I do.


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