To start I must say, when this came out in cinemas initially I avoided it and carried out my own mini boycott due to the sheer number of ads that had filled my life in and outside of the cinema because of it. However, my resistance was soon broken down with a hard stare from Paddington and I found myself rushing to the next Kids screening at my local Odeon. How did I hold out my resistance for so long; as this film is brilliant.
At the start of the film, we find ourselves back with the Browns family and Paddington (Ben Wishaw) at the centre of it all. He has really settled in with the local community and we are shown one of his days and the kindness he brings to others as part of those days. Paddington finds himself in the antique shop looking for a present for his Aunt Lucy. When he finds the perfect one, a handmade pop up book of London, he knows that to get the money he will have to work for it. After trying a number of jobs he settles on window cleaning and gets very good at it; but just as he has enough money, to buy the pop up book, it is stolen. When Paddington tries to get it back he is wrongly imprisoned as the police believe it is him who stole it. Over the course of this film the Browns try to track down the real thief in order to get Paddington out of prison and back with them.
Positives- I thought this film was hilarious with: comedy sketches and little dialogue sequences that really made it a pleasure to watch.
Phoenix Buchanan- Well a man has to eat.
Paddington- What dog food?
I thought that the plot was genuinely intriguing and although the ending of the story was intentionally obvious from the start, it was how we got there that was of interest to to an audience member. I liked that the characters had real depth which allowed us to emotionally engage with them throughout the film, most obviously Paddington. At no point throughout the film did I think “Oh yeh Paddington is just CGI”. However, what I did think was “Oh yeh that’s Paddington I remember him from the last film” and I really think this helped with my enjoyment of the film (which it undoubtedly did.) Finally, although with some films you have to break it down into little bits you like and little bits you don’t like so much, for this film it was different as I liked almost all of it and had very few complaints upon reflection afterwards.
Negatives- Although it is quite a poor complaint, this isn’t really my favourite genre and therefore although most of the things were done well not all of them worked for me. I know you can only be so engaged when a film is a PG certificate, others may disagree, and also as this is predominantly a kids film there is only so much ‘peril’ you can have without scaring the target audience, but this disconnected me. However, I only really felt what I have just described in very fleeting moments, as for majority of the film I loved it.
Conclusion- My negatives column is very harsh, however as I have said I only felt that way fleetingly as generally I loved it.
My Rating- 8.8/10
My amended top 3 of the year is as follows:
- The Shape of Water
- Paddington 2