BLOG > Netflix's 'Under Paris': The New Shark Thriller Rivals Jaws in Suspense and Ecological Concerns

Netflix's 'Under Paris': The New Shark Thriller Rivals Jaws in Suspense and Ecological Concerns

Netflix's 'Under Paris': The New Shark Thriller Rivals Jaws in Suspense and Ecological Concerns

Netflix’s New Shark Thriller: Under Paris

Netflix’s fresh release, 'Under Paris,' directed by Xavier Gens, is causing quite the stir among shark movie aficionados. With a plot that may sound bizarre but is thrillingly engaging, the film captures the tension and ecological undercurrents often underscored in classic shark horror sagas. The movie paints a dramatic yet hauntingly beautiful picture, following the tale of a scientist, Sophia played by Oscar nominee Berenice Bejo, who finds herself in a race against time.

A Plot Brimming with Suspense

Sophia, a talented scientist, faces a bizarre and dangerous discovery: a colossal shark lurking in the Seine river just before the Olympic triathlon. As expected in these narratives, her warnings to the authorities are met with skepticism and negligence. The dread of a potential bloodbath looms large, evoking a sense of impending doom and highlighting the incompetence or perhaps the apathy of those with power. This mix of suspense and underlying frustration with human ignorance is something fans might find reminiscent of Spielberg’s classic, 'Jaws.'

Ecological Themes and Strong Performances

While 'Under Paris' isn’t just about the monstrous shark, there’s a layer of ecological contemplation. Environmental activist Mika, whose role is integral to the plot, stands as a beacon of ecological consciousness. Mika’s determination and struggle against the environmental threat adds depth to the storyline. The film excels in portraying not just the physical threat of the shark but also the looming environmental crisis. The blend of ecological themes with high-octane suspense has struck a chord with many viewers, making it a multifaceted narrative.

The film boasts impressive performances. Berenice Bejo’s portrayal of Sophia is compelling, adding emotional weight to the character. Her journey from discovery to frantic warnings and ultimately the chaos that ensues is carried out with remarkable fervor. It’s complemented by a robust supporting cast, bringing a complex and engaging dynamic to the screen.

Comparison to Jaws: A Modern Homage

The comparison to 'Jaws' is inevitable. Spielberg’s classic has set a high bar in the genre of shark thrillers, and many viewers see 'Under Paris' as a modern homage. Several elements – the sense of impending dread, the conflict between scientific discovery and public safety, and the grandiose set pieces – harken back to 'Jaws.' Xavier Gens leans into these homages, ensuring fans of the genre have several nostalgic moments.

Yet, 'Under Paris' tries to carve its own identity. The unique setting of Paris, with its iconic landmarks and distinct urban environment, offers a fresh backdrop for the aquatic terror. It’s a testament to creative storytelling that something as outlandish as a shark in the Seine can be made plausible and thrilling. Viewers have noted the film’s technical prowess, particularly the crisp imagery and the excellent use of lighting, which adds to the film’s ominous tone.

Mixed Reviews: A Divide in Viewership

Despite the positive reception from a section of viewers, not everyone is entirely satisfied. Some critiques have arisen regarding the film’s storytelling and special effects. While the narrative is gripping, a chunk of the audience finds it somewhat unoriginal, citing a formulaic approach to the genre. The special effects, crucial in a shark thriller, have also faced some criticism. For a film that stakes a lot on visual immersion, any lapses in CGI can be jarring, and unfortunately, 'Under Paris' doesn’t always hit the mark in this department.

Production Quality and Cinematic Vision

Nevertheless, the production quality has been lauded by several onlookers. The film features crisp and immaculate visuals. The cinematography, especially the depiction of Paris and its river, adds a layer of artistic appeal. The sculptural use of light plays a significant role in creating the film’s tense and eerie atmosphere. It’s a visual delight that aims at capturing the beauty of its setting while underscoring the lurking threat.

Engaging the Audience: Themes and Cinematic Devices

One of the engaging aspects of 'Under Paris' is its thematic depth. Beyond the horror and suspense, the film delves into environmental consciousness. Mika, the environmental activist, serves as a narrative device highlighting the importance of ecological balance. This theme resonates with contemporary audiences, increasingly aware of environmental issues. It’s a bold and thoughtful inclusion in a genre often focused more on thrills than messages.

The film successfully uses various cinematic devices to keep the audience engaged. The pacing, despite some critiques, generally maintains a fine balance between action and storyline development. The escalating tension, coupled with the dire environmental warnings, keeps viewers on the edge, simultaneously entertained and contemplative about the broader implications.

Conclusion: A Unique Blend of Thrills and Messages

In conclusion, 'Under Paris' may not entirely live up to the monumental legacy of 'Jaws,' but it offers a compelling narrative that blends suspense with timely ecological themes. The film’s strength lies in its ability to evoke a blend of fear and awareness, positioning itself as more than just a shark thriller. It may have its shortcomings, particularly in originality and special effects, but the production quality and poignant performances, notably by Berenice Bejo, provide significant redeeming factors.

With its unique setting, strong ecological messaging, and a nod to the classics, 'Under Paris' is a noteworthy addition to the shark horror genre. It showcases that Netflix continues to take bold steps in producing diverse and thought-provoking content.