A sweet-natured, warm-hearted & wonderfully witted delight for viewers of all ages, Paddington brings a beloved children’s literature to cinematic life without losing any of its essence, innocence or charm, and makes for an endlessly enjoyable & wholly satisfying cinematic experience for both children & grown-ups.
The story follows an anthropomorphic bear who migrates from the jungles of Peru to the streets of London in search of home and finds a temporary haven under the roof of the Brown family. As he slowly adjusts to the bustling city life, he catches the eye of a museum taxidermist who wishes to add the rarest of bears to her collection.
Written & directed by Paul King, the story packs plenty of heart and exudes nothing but fuzzy warmth & indelible charm from start to finish. There is a childlike simplicity to it, a pleasing quality to all elements, and even London is captured with a dollop of romance. Sprinkled with healthy dose of humour, there are several amusing moments in store for both kids & adults.
The film also qualifies as a parable about xenophobia but its underlying message of tolerance & acceptance is handled with subtleness rather than shoving these timely themes down the audience’s throats. The film is gentle with its commentary, thoughtful in its execution, and is told with such compassion that it strikes the right chord with our hearts & minds without losing its sense of fun.
Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters & two kids are excellent as the kindly Brown family while Ben Whishaw provides both voice & soul to the eponymous bear that is mostly a CGI creation. But it’s Nicole Kidman who stands out as the museum taxidermist. Both Jim Broadbent & Peter Capaldi also chip in with good support. The warm colour tones & bright lighting radiate nothing but positivity all around. And the tight editing & swift pace make sure the interest never fizzles out.
On an overall scale, Paddington turned out to be much better than I expected it to be and I frankly didn’t expect much. Talking animals in live-action films is a combination that rarely ever works for me but this film does, for its heart is at the right place and the director’s execution is top-notch. A family-friendly fare that pretty much guarantees to put a smile on your face, Paddington is definitely worth your time & money and comes thoroughly recommended.
Cinema is my life capsule. Horror is my refuge. Jurassic Park is first love. Lord of the Rings is perfection. Spielberg is GOAT. Cameron is King. In Nolan I trust. Pixar makes my heart sing. Reviewing films is a force of habit. Letterboxd is home. Blog is where I'm currently inactive. HoF just happened to came along.