Netflix’s Shark Thriller ‘Under Paris’ Draws Comparisons to ‘Jaws’ and Becomes a Must-Watch Summer Hit

Netflix’s Latest Shark Thriller Could Be This Summer’s Breakout Hit

Netflix has always pushed the envelope when it comes to delivering thrilling and captivating content, and its latest French-language film 'Under Paris' seems to be no exception. Directed by Xavier Gens, this shark thriller has quickly made waves, leading many to compare it to Spielberg’s legendary 'Jaws.' The film centers around a colossal mako shark named 'Lilith' that leaves its natural habitat to claim the Seine River as its new domain. This premise alone has set social media abuzz, but it's the film’s execution that has really caught everyone’s attention.

Initial reviews suggest that 'Under Paris' could be this summer’s sleeper hit, thanks in large part to its gripping storyline, standout performances, and unique urban setting. With the World Triathlon Championships just around the corner, the appearance of a predatory shark in the Seine creates a tension-filled scenario that promises catastrophic consequences if not dealt with swiftly. The comparisons to 'Jaws' are almost inevitable given the film’s intense atmosphere and suspenseful buildup, but 'Under Paris' has managed to carve out its own identity as well.

Plot and Characters: A Tale of Predation and Peril

The storyline of 'Under Paris' revolves around scientist Sophia, portrayed masterfully by Bérénice Bejo. Sophia has a deeply personal vendetta against Lilith, stemming from a bloody confrontation beneath an oceanic trash heap three years prior. Her mission is both professional and personal as she seeks to protect the public and avenge her past ordeal. Joined by river policeman Sergeant Adil Faez (Nassim Lyes), the duo forms an unlikely alliance to remove the deadly mako shark before it can wreak havoc during the World Triathlon Championships.

The characters are intricately developed, with Bérénice Bejo shining in her role as a determined and resilient scientist. Her emotional depth adds layers to the narrative that go beyond simple horror, exploring themes of trauma, revenge, and redemption. Meanwhile, Nassim Lyes’ portrayal of Sergeant Adil Faez brings a grounded, everyman quality to the partnership, providing a balance of strength and vulnerability that complements Sophia’s driven nature.

A Unique Setting Adds to the Suspense

One of the standout elements of 'Under Paris' is its use of location. The Seine River, an iconic landmark in the heart of Paris, serves as an unusual and fascinating setting for a shark thriller. This urban backdrop contrasts sharply with the oceanic settings typically associated with such films, adding a layer of novelty and intrigue. The presence of the mako shark in city waters intensifies the sense of danger, highlighting the tension between nature and urban life.

The film’s cinematography makes effective use of Paris' scenic beauty and urban sprawl, juxtaposing serene shots of the river with moments of chaos and destruction caused by Lilith’s rampage. This visual contrast not only maintains viewer interest but also reinforces the film’s central theme of nature invading human spaces, creating a compelling narrative tension.

Comparisons to ‘Jaws’ and ‘Deep Blue Sea’

Early reactions from critics have been overwhelmingly positive, with many drawing favorable comparisons to Spielberg’s 'Jaws.' Michael Nordine from Variety went so far as to call it possibly the best imitation of 'Jaws' to date. The film’s ability to capture the bureaucratic follies and suspense-driven storytelling of 'Jaws' while maintaining a fast-paced tempo reminiscent of 'Deep Blue Sea' has resonated with audiences and critics alike. Daily Dead’s Matt Donato highlighted how 'Under Paris' blends these elements seamlessly, creating a thrilling experience that feels both familiar and fresh.

Yet, 'Under Paris' is not just an imitation. It brings its own unique flavor to the genre, thanks in part to Gens’ direction and the strong performances from its cast. The film’s final act is a chaotic, outlandish spectacle that will certainly satisfy fans of the genre looking for intense action and dramatic stakes. It’s this blend of homage and originality that sets 'Under Paris' apart, ensuring it leaves a lasting impression.

A Strong Performance from Bérénice Bejo

At the heart of 'Under Paris' is Bérénice Bejo’s compelling portrayal of Sophia. Her performance drives the film, providing a powerful emotional core that grounds the more fantastical elements of the story. Bejo’s ability to convey determination, fear, and vulnerability adds depth to the character, making Sophia more than just a stereotypical hero. Her interactions with the other characters, particularly Nassim Lyes’ Adil, lend the film a human element that balances the high-stakes action.

Bejo’s nuanced performance has not gone unnoticed, with many critics praising her portrayal as a key factor in the film’s success. Her chemistry with Lyes and her ability to carry the film’s emotional weight elevate 'Under Paris' beyond a mere genre piece, transforming it into a character-driven narrative with universal themes of survival and resilience.

Final Thoughts

'Under Paris' is shaping up to be one of Netflix’s standout offerings this year. With its thrilling premise, strong characters, and unique setting, it offers a fresh take on the shark thriller genre while paying homage to the classics that came before it. Bérénice Bejo’s standout performance, combined with Xavier Gens’ direction, ensures that the film is both entertaining and emotionally resonant.

If you’re a fan of suspenseful, action-packed cinema, 'Under Paris' is a must-watch this summer. Its blend of gripping storytelling, compelling characters, and striking visuals make it a film that stands out in the crowded streaming landscape. Whether you’re a long-time admirer of shark thrillers or new to the genre, 'Under Paris' promises to deliver a heart-pounding experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The mixture of suspense, action, and emotional depth makes 'Under Paris' a film that stays with you long after the credits roll. So, grab some popcorn, settle in, and prepare for a thrilling ride through the waters of the Seine with 'Under Paris.'

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