PADDINGTON | MOVIE REVIEW

PADDINGTON is the first feature movie to bring the delightfully charming bear to life in his duffel coat and old red hat. Paddington Bear came  into existence in 1958, thanks to Michael Bond and first illustrated by Peggy Fortnum. To be honest, I never knew him as a book, I just knew he was the teddy bear I HAD TO HAVE as a very small child, my memory does not even serve me well if I won with tantrums the joy to own him. He was this polite bear who was from London, he was refined, he was a bear and he was amazing. As is this fine movie. It is everything you would expect from a Paddington Bear movie, delightfully whimsical and utterly charming, so pack your marmalade sandwiches and get thee to a cinema this Thursday 11th when it releases in Australia. It is being released by StudioCanal, is rated G and runs for 95mins. This will be the holiday film to take the youngsters to – I also think grandparents would love this movie, maybe a grandparent/ grandchild date movie.  

 

PADDINGTON MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
PADDINGTON | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY JASON KING

I actually turned down THE IMITATION GAME to see PADDINGTON, I saw the beautiful poster, the charming trailer and had flashbacks to the warm memories I had of the loveable furball. I had to see it, I actually had an idea in advance I would love it and thank the bears of deepest darkest Peru that it delivered.

Paddington is the nephew of Lucy and Pastuzo and as you may have guessed come from the deepest darkest Peru. An explorer, Clive Montgomery, stumbles upon Lucy and Pastuzo years earlier and discovers they can learn English, are intelligent and that they love marmalade, he tells them that should they ever visit London they will always be welcome. Their family evolves around London culture and they always talk about getting to London. An earthquake strikes, disaster occurs and it ends up that Paddington must go to London. He does not have the name Paddington yet but my keyboard does not have the correct keys to write his name properly.

 

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PADDINGTON | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MR BROWN (HUGH BONNEVILLE) AND PADDINGTON (BEN WHISHAW) AT A PADDINGTON STATION CAFE

 

It is Paddington’s belief everything will be proper and English and welcoming and all will be marmalade in London, but this is not the case, in a story that echoes (believe it or not) an asylum seeker tale, Paddington is not welcomed and it treated more like a leper or a homeless person, completely ignored. And then the Brown family comes along and his world will be forever changed.

Paddington is temporarily taken in by the Browns, a slightly eccentric, “BABE-like” family who will help Paddington in his endeavour to find the Montgomery family. It should be noted though that having a walking, talking bear in London really does nothing to freak out the locals, it was as if Hagrid, Harry and Voldermort walking the streets would be normal, Paddington is just accepted as another living being on the surface, while nefarious people want to secretly plot and be rid of him incase it becomes an epidemic.

 

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PADDINGTON | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | PADDINGTON (BEN WHISHAW) DRINKS FROM A TOILET

 

Everything about the movie is delightfully English in a very fictional fantastical way, the movie is an English hug with tea and marmalade sandwiches. Mr Brown is incredibly uptight English, his wife is slightly eccentric hippy English and the kids are just delightful. Their neighbour, is Dr Who, well actually Peter Capaldi but same same but different. I felt that, considering Capaldi’s status now they could have used him more, I also thought that Kidman could have been better utilised. The movie is very G rated, so much so that even the truly evil bad person can’t really be truly evil. Some have criticised Kidman’s performance in the reviews but that seems to be the thing to do with Kidman these days. I thought she suited the character as it is basically a cartoon character bad person, if they wanted more out of her then screenplay should have accommodated it. She did her role admirably, love the scene with her trying to lower herself into the house with the darts. And Julie Walters, there needed to be more of her besides the occasional comment of her pointing out the obvious. OK, her drunken scene was pretty cool.

 

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PADDINGTON | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MILLICENT (NICOLE KIDMAN)

 

There is one character that was perfect in every way, that of Paddington. Originally this was Colin Firth voicing the bear but after doing it for a while both Firth and the producers believed he was wrong for the part, so I had a word with my boyfriend and persuaded Ben Whishaw to voice Paddington. And this was a master stroke for the movie. Whishaw has the innocence, youthfulness, British charm to a T. He was brilliant and his voice work made the character shine on the screen.

There was however one thing that did not sit well with me in the movie. Right near the end when Millicent is threatening to kill Paddington and Mr Brown gives a lecture that he is family and they will defend him as such. Then Millicent threatens to kill the whole family, Paddington says something like “you don’t have to do that Mr Brown,” and Mr Brown just steps out of the way and does leave Paddington to fend for himself. I just did not like that, if Paddington is declared as family then family he should be defended, in for a penny , in for a pound so to say. I was disappointed in those actions of Mr Brown in this scene.

 

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PADDINGTON | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | PADDINGTON BEAR (VOICED BY JK’S FUTURE HUSBAND BEN WHISHAW) AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE

 

The movie never hit the level of awesome as BABE or STUART LITTLE, but it is delightfully charming and cleverly made. It is conservative as an Elnglish Paddington movie would be but has some excellent harmless humour and superb CGI. It is exactly what you would expect from a PADDINGTON movie. Get the young kids to this one these holidays.

 

4 Pops

 

 

 

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