Ever so often, comes along a movie that the whole family can watch together, and enjoy together. You probably remember the first time you watched Toy Story or Stuart Little and adored its titular characters and said, “I wonder if anyone can ever top this?” Well, that’s exactly what Paddington does. Sweet, innocent and well-executed, this film hits all the right notes to leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling. Almost like you were dipped in a tub of marmalade.
Based on the famous children’s book, this modern-day adaptation is intelligent and moving in equal measures. It tells the story of a young bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw), who escapes to London from the darkest Peru after his home is destroyed in an earthquake. Here, he stumbles onto a seemingly-ordinary family called the Browns. While Mr. Brown (Hugh Bonneville) is a stickler for rules and doesn’t want anything to do with the bear, Mrs. Brown (Sally Hawkins) is a kind, adventurous soul who takes the bear in and names him Paddington. They have two kids who also absolutely adore the bear. But unbeknownst to them, there is a crazy taxidermist named Millicent (Nicole Kidman) who wants the bear for her own nefarious needs.
Although the story might have a predictable arc, it is nevertheless fresh and unique. Once Paddington is with the family, he unknowingly disrupts their life with his honest capers. The movie gets props for going the extra mile with the special effects and not keeping it restricted just to the CGI bear. Director Paul King uses the animation effectively in several other scenes, in a way that it sits perfectly well with the rest of the movie. Such is the power of originality.
From Hugh Bonneville’s over-protective Mr. Brown to Nicole Kidman’s paranoid, ninja-like taxidermist, every actor puts in their very best. But the most remarkable character and the heart of the film is Paddington, as voiced by Ben Whishaw. His voice has a whimsical quality that sits just right with the animated bear. The film’s wonderful soundtrack also lends it a sense of authenticity. This is a wholesome movie that gets brownie points in each and every department.
Why should you watch this film?
There is no reason you shouldn’t watch Paddington. If you are a skeptic, thinking that this is a children’s film that won’t appeal to you, then you are wrong. This movie packs so much soul that it deserves to be watched more than once. It is the perfect family entertainer that cannot be missed.