However, this past year while seeing the film continuously in play on the Independent Film Channel and after seeing all I have seen from litigious lawyers in recent years, I began to form a theory on who, or what, could be responsible for Alex Kintner being killed by the shark.
While Chief Brody may have suffered a public slap of shame from Mrs. Kintner, he was nothing more than the fall guy for the people who would not let the beaches be closed in spite of the information they knew. There. You smell that? That is a lawsuit in search of an antiestablishment lawyer and, oh, but to hypothesize of how such a coverup would be viewed by the public.
Imagine the Hypothetical:
Holy sardines; that story would be eaten up in a public feeding frenzy faster than the shark ate Alex.
Then to add on top of that: The owner and publisher of the local newspaper did not report the death of the female swimmer, the very death which prompts Brody to close the beaches. Now why wouldn't such a story be published; is the death of a swimmer in open waters not considered news worthy in a town surrounded by water?
Plus, it is that swimmer's death in which the medical examiner agrees to amend autopsy reports based on urging from the mayor -- a doctor altered documents at the request of a politician?! -- which all takes place in front of the newspaperman who does not report on the coverup, since he is a part of it. Oh, can't you just taste the deception waiting to be revealed in a courtroom?
Not to mention the newspaperman is also a town councilman and he is the one who cites the legal requirements of shutting down the beaches to Brody! Can you say 'conflict of interest'? I can.
Obviously the position as a town councilman is a major conflict of interest with being a newspaperman for this character, since he is unwilling to report information to the public which concerns their safety yet he is willing to have a say on what benefits his personal interests when it goes against public safety and, not to mention, his profession as a reporter. Oooh, if that doesn't put the 'rat' in bureaucrat, I don't know what does.
When it comes to the technical/legal requirements of shutting down the beaches that the newspaperman cites to Brody, those are the laws that I speculate are responsible for Alex Kintner being killed by the shark. The shark killed Alex, no doubt about that, but had the law not been used against Brody and had the beaches gotten closed, would Alex not have been killed on that particular day? I like to think the possibility strongly exists, but I am bias since it is my theory.
I mean, hello! Parts of a body are found washed up on shore. And a town councilman has the gall to cite the law in order to stop a police officer from protecting the public and closing the beaches while the matter is under investigation?!?! As a kid the shark scared me; as an adult this 'rat scares me even more.
Now, while the law was used for evil in this case and not for good, the law was ultimately a helpless victim in the hands of heinous henchman. What are laws but words on paper, and words on paper are just that -- words on paper. Inanimate and one-dimensional, words have no power on their own without an individual to act upon the words.
So, what brought those words of law into so much power that the result was a little boy being killed and a mother losing her child? Bureaucrats. Specifically three bureaucrats in the form of one mayor, one councilman, and one medical examiner.
I like to think positively that such a lawyer exists who would rip these fictional 'rats to pieces without a trace left for plankton to feed upon. A girl can dream. And that is all any of this is, hypothetical dreaming of what would be in a fictional setting.
In reality, even though bureaucrats take part in coverups, and newspaper reporters do not always report accurate or correct information, and doctors have been found guilty of amending or falsifying reports, my time in court has shown me that lawsuits do not always solve everything for everyone.
Lawsuits do not bring dead people to life. Lawsuits do not make pain go away. Lawsuits do not guarantee justice, truth, or money...unless you are being paid to work on the case, of course.
So it is probably best that Jaws played out the way it did, without a nasty and costly lawsuit, and without a three-ring circus of he-said/he-said. Because the fact is if people want to see that, they can visit their local courthouse.
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