"this film adaptation is nothing short of delightful"
Another beloved children’s character has been given a movie makeover and this time it is the turn of the Peruvian Bear, Paddington. Taken from the imagination of Sir Michael Bond, this film adaptation is nothing short of delightful. Some have criticised it, saying the bear looks creepy, however, I don't think that at all. Moreover, if it is able to evoke young children to scream 'Paddington' at the screen during a pivotal moment in the film, then the film version has managed to capture the hearts of its audience.
Its success is down to the flawless casting of Ben Whishaw. As the voice of Paddington, he captures the naivety of the young bear who has journeyed to London for the first time with wild expectations of what the city and people are like.
However, for as good as Whishaw is as Paddington, the film would fall flat if the cast around him weren't the cream of the crop in talent. The film boasts a cast including Michael Gambon, Imelda Staunton, Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville, Julie Walters, Nicole Kidman and Doctor Who himself, Peter Capaldi.
For as much as Hawkins’ Mrs. Brown is the emotional centrepiece, the polar opposite to her is Kidman’s villainous role of Millicent -- Whilst I do not advocate what she intends to do to Paddington, I found her to be a somewhat misguided individual, rather than an out-and-out villain. She has clear motive, and while her plans are inevitably foiled, I did find myself empathising with her.
Broadbent is little more than a cameo, but put him in anything and you have my attention. But he’s definitely memorable and, similarly, Walters is hilarious as Mrs. Bird. She’ll have you in hysterics; her antics are truly memorable. In fact, everyone has their chance to shine; there are no slouches in this. Even Hugh Bonneville has a hilarious scene -- I'm not about to spoil it, but you'll know it when you see it!
The storyline has a lot of heart, too. Thankfully, Paul King and his team have put that in the forefront and have not relied on the 3D element to move the story along, and succeeds in bringing this beloved character to the big-screen. And I, for one, would welcome a sequel. If the quality of the second is anything like the first, then I believe they’re onto a winner with this franchise.