Entertainment Hive 2017

Paddington

Review by Honey B

Director: Paul King Cast: Nicole Kidman, Hugh Bonneville, Julie Waters, Sally Hawkins, Peter Capaldi and Ben Whishaw as the voice of Paddington Plot: From the beloved novels by Michael Bond and producer David Heyman (Harry Potter), PADDINGTON tells the story of the comic misadventures of a young Peruvian bear (voiced by Whishaw) who travels to the city in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined - until he meets the kindly Brown family who read the label around his neck that says "Please look after this bear. Thank you," and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of museum taxidermist, Millicent Clyde (Nicole Kidman). Verdict: The sign hanging around the little Peruvian bear’s neck says: “Please look after this bear. Thank you’’, and the film-makers of Paddington have done just that. This delightful holiday film is full of wondrous charm, a spot of cheeky humour and funny sight gags and it’s laden (should that be marmaladen!) with heart. The narrative is beautifully written and King pays homage to Michael Bond’s beloved bear who wrote the first Paddington book in 1958 with the shadow of World War II still strong in people’s minds. It’s in this time where an English explorer comes across some Peruvian bears in the deep dark South American jungles and we watch in grainy black and white film as he teaches these bears to speak and they bond over a love of marmalade sandwiches. Fast forward to modern times and Paddington’s Aunt Lucy sends the young bear to London after an earthquake forces her to move into a retirement village for bears. The polite little bear in his red hat arrives at a starkly cold London train station where people walk straight past him without so much as a hello or a comment about the London weather. That is until the Brown family meet the ignored and lonely little bear at Paddington Station. Mrs Brown’s (Sally Hawkins) intrigue gets the better of her and the kind and quirky mum takes the well-mannered little fur-ball home. Of course, once in a house Paddington has quite a knack for wrecking havoc which has uptight risk analyst Mr Brown (Hugh Bonneville) itching to kick the bear to the curb. Wherever Paddington goes – trouble follows and there are some hilarious scenes as he deals with escalators, sticky tape and bathrooms. Hawkins is colourfully quirky and Bonneville comes to life throughout the movie as the safety conscious dad slowly reveals a wilder side. Peter Capaldi is also hilarious as the nosey neighbour and Kidman is deliciously evil, much like Cruella de Vil in Disney’s 101 Dalmations. However, the star of this film is Paddington and Ben Whishaw does a superb job of voicing the accident prone, polite little fur-ball. London also looks beautiful in this film – simply picture perfect from the London Eye to Buckingham Palace. This is a charming film with lovely little pieces of production design from the Brown’s house shown in miniature to the jaunty calypso street band. Let’s hope there is more heart-warming and funny Paddington magic to come. Paddington is a school holiday must see for families.
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