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Film Title

Paddington

Director

Paul King

Starring

  • Ben Whishaw as Paddington Bear
  • Hugh Bonneville as Henry Brown
  • Sally Hawkins as Mary Brown
  • Julie Walters as Mrs. Bird
  • Nicole Kidman as Millicent
  • Madeleine Harris as Judy Brown
  • Samuel Joslin as Jonathan Brown
  • Peter Capaldi as Mr. Curry
  • Jim Broadbent as Mr. Gruber
  • Michael Gambon as Uncle Pastuzo
  • Imelda Staunton as Aunt Lucy

A sprightly, adventure-filled and heartwarming take on the classic stories of Michael Bond’s marmalade loving, eponymous bear, Paddington is one of those movies that it’s hard to find fault with. Primarily, this stems from the fact it’s so much fun and an utter delight of comedy, heart and wonder.

We begin in the jungles of Darkest Peru, where we discover an English explorer happening upon two very intelligent bears with a love of marmalade. In time, he teaches them about modern life and even gets them to talk. Before heading back to civilisation he promises them a home in London if they should ever need it. The two bears, named Pastuzo and Lucy, have a nephew with them many years later; a curious and fun-loving bear who shares their taste for marmalade. But their harmony is shattered when an earthquake hits and kills Uncle Pastuzo. Aunt Lucy is getting older and can’t take care of Paddington as she once could. she remembers the explorer’s words of promise about there always being a home in London. Stowing her nephew into a cargo ship, she bids him farewell in the hope he will find a happy, new home. Upon arrival in London, he is met with hostility and all hope for a lovely, caring family to take care of him seems lost. That is until he encounters the Brown Family at Paddington Station. The mother, Mary, gives him the name Paddington and being a kind, considerate person, she offers to house him in her home. Her fussy and killjoy husband Henry, who is obsessed with keeping things risk-free, is completely against the idea of Paddington living with them. The children Judy and Jonathan, are thrilled to have Paddington with them, despite their father’s trepidation. Paddington is most curious to know more about the professor who visited Darkest Peru all those years ago and roping the family into things, he gets them into a whirl of unintentional mischief and laughs. But there is an evil taxidermist by the name of Millicent who has discovered Paddington and will stop at nothing to make him part of her sinister collection, now on his tail. Cue much mayhem, thrills and adventure for the bear and the Brown Family.

Paul King directs with an enormous amount of heart, humour and deeply felt love that explodes from almost every frame. It will take someone with a real damp view of life to not smile or have fun with a movie such as this. King just pushes all the right buttons of raucous humour, heartfelt sentiment and just plain adventure in a way that is spellbinding and an utter delight throughout. sense of magic and feel good factor it has going for it. It’s adventure of the highest level that proves totally sprightly and accessible to all ages. The blending of CGI in the title character and the real-life surroundings, that are continuously colourful, is seamlessly done. On a visual level, Paddington scores major points. The bright as a button colour scheme and adventurous ways of showcasing this zany fable are here in a glorious pot of love. And speaking of love, the film truly gets across the message of accepting people and loving one another beautifully and with clarity. The humour covers a wide spectrum from the mischievous and playful(Paddington accidentally flooding the Brown’s bathroom for starters) to nods and winks to older members of the audience, without missing a beat or getting overstuffed. It’s rare to come across a film such as Paddington that can be a ball for everyone watching. It has a style and care to it that many movies that aim for every age can sometimes miss in the long run. The high-reaching and upbeat score are on full duty; bringing out the simply amazing story and film that it accompanies. Put quite simply, you couldn’t ask for a more enchanting movie than Paddington.

Ben Whishaw beautifully voices the title bear with a childlike adventure and sense of mischief. His relaxing tones and enthusiasm can be heard so well that it’s really difficult to imagine another person voicing Paddington with the same skill as Whishaw has. Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins play well off one another as total opposite mum and dad. Bonneville is staid, careful and unwilling to entertain fancy notions, Hawkins is imaginative, lovely and slightly zany. Both consummate actors invest a lot into their respective roles(which also goes for pretty much the entire cast, who are finely assembled). The ever-dependable Julie Walters has a whole bundle of fun as the elderly relative of the Brown’s, whose quick wit and precision with cleaning ensures things are up to her tidy standards. Nicole Kidman is a dark delight as the villain of the piece; a Cruella like woman who wants to add Paddington to her collection. Kidman is both menacing and tongue in cheek funny, while also embodying something seductively devious too. It’s obvious that she had a really fun time playing this type of character just from the looks on her face. Child actors Madeleine Harris and Samuel Joslin are ideal for the roles of the Brown children who take the bear under their wing. Peter Capaldi is very amusing and slimy as the local nosy neighbour getting in trouble with the evil taxidermist, while Jim Broadbent provides sage as a man who helps point Paddington in the direction of what he seeks. Briefly found voicing Paddington’s relatives in Darkest Peru are Michael Gambon and Imelda Staunton, whose pathos and warmth are felt from the get go, despite only being on the screen for a short duration.

Hilarious, riotously entertaining and aimed at all ages, Paddington takes its place as a firm favourite that will pull you in with its message of family and its massive beating centre that is the lovable bear.

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