Rating : ****
A live action film based on the Michael Bond stories of a bear who could speak English who shows up in England and has a love of marmalade.
Who didn’t fall in love with Paddington as kids?
Now he comes to the big screen along with his larger then life cast all portrayed by some of the best actors around today. A film for all the family, especially all those kids who grew up with Paddington.
What a heart warming movie it is too. None of the sweetness of the stories is lost and even though its live action it doesn’t lose any of that cartoonish brilliance that we all know and love.
That is mainly down to the cast. It couldn’t go wrong really. We start with the voice acting, Ben Whishaw is wonderful as Paddington and makes you fall in love with the little bear from beginning to end. So much emotion is felt through the animation of Paddington and the words he speaks that you could be forgiven to think they actually just hired a talking bear. Imelda Staunton and Michael Gambon bring such fun to Paddington’s Aunt and Uncle in the short period of time we see them that it is truly heart wrenching when Uncle Pastuzo dies at the beginning of the movie.
The Brown’s are brought to life by Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins as well as the Brown children Madeleine Harris and Samuel Joslin. Each had a extremely important role to play in the story, each brought a different character to life in such brilliant ways and worked together as a family (wait I forgot the fabulous Julie Walters as Mrs. Bird) to save Paddington in the dramatic ending where bad guy Millicent Clyde (Nicole Kidman) gets her hands on Paddington thanks to a lovestruck Mr Curry (Peter Capaldi) and plans on stuffing him.
Its a story about a bear that came to London in the hopes to find a new home and then against all odds finds a family to call his own.
It is also a story of how life can sometimes get in the way of enjoying yourself and how when you realise that things happen and you have no control over them so give up and just enjoy your life you’ll be amazed at how happy you can be (or at least that’s how I saw Mr Brown’s story.)
It is a feel good movie and has enough of just about everything in it to keep children, adults and eternal children happy every time you sit down and watch it.
I wasn’t expecting the story to be so strong though, it was one of the best told stories I’ve seen in a while and I have to say I was surprised. It oozes charm and character at every turn and is full of wonderful cameos (Jim Broadbent being eccentric as ever, Matt Lucas being as funny as ever) as well as making you look at some subjects through a different lens. Its a story of being able to make a family out of people you care for, its about discrimination, the problems with first impressions and overall is a story about acceptance and being nice to each other because why wouldn’t you be nice to each other? Mrs Brown is just accepting and nice and she’d have gone out of her way to do anything for Paddington and there needs to be more Mrs Browns in the world.
The story not only ends with a happy ending of the Browns taking Paddington home with them as part of the family but opens up the possibility of more stories with the family.
Paddington brought the Browns together and its a movie that will honestly bring families together for years to come.
Not bad for a film about a bear with a marmalade addiction right?