Monday, November 27, 2017

Paddington 2 - Movie Review (4/5 stars)

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)


I will be honest I have never read any book nor watched any TV show on the British classic character Paddington bear from 60s. So, had no idea what to expect from it as I have not even seen the first film. At first, I thought it’s a kids movie but when I found 32-year-old me having side-splitting laughter along with my 30 year old sister, I realized I was wrong. Paddington 2 is a British live-action/CGI animated comedy film based on the stories of the classic character from English children's literature called Paddington Bear created by Michael Bond.


Its a classic character which everyone usually knows but still for people like me here is the plot. It’s about Paddington bear who belongs to species of intelligent human like bears, from Peru. He is like a small kid in many ways. He now lives with the family of Mr. Brown in London, in a neighborhood where he is much loved. He is later accused of a robbery and goes to prison and then the rest of film is about he and brown family working toward to clear his name. Screenplay is a typical British Comedy and relies heavily on the peculiarity of characters and their situational comic chemistry.
If I divide the film in three acts first and last act could have been written shorter especially the dog chase and train climax scenes felt a bit longer then required, but the middle act which focuses on Paddington’s prison time is crisp, hilarious and emotional (you may get teary eyes here as well). It took me a while to get connected to the world of Paddington in the beginning but once connected I enjoyed every moment till end.


This is a very well performed film. Performances by the principal cast are very convincing especially Hugh Grant as Phoenix Buchanan portraying a narcissistic actor, Hugh Bonneville as Henry Brown depicting a middle-aged man with crisis and Sally Hawkins as Mary Brown acting as an ambitious/inquisitive Woman. It’s this believable performance clubbed with the individuality of these characters that makes their interaction on the screen, fun to watch.
CGI work is also amazing, not even once you get the feeling that the central character in the film is animated and not real. Aided by the voice of Ben Whishaw, Paddington Bear felt as alive as the rest of the cast members. Apart from the realistic CGI and well blended voice over acting, Paul King’s direction needs credit here as well. He has used Paddington smartly in the situations to avoid any disconnects, that usually appear in such setups.
Overall a very light-hearted comedy which will work for kids and adults at the same time, I go with 4 stars. Movie is releasing on 30th Nov across UAE , get your tickets people.

Some self promotion - pictures from the UAE premiere

I would like to Thank Novo Cinemas and SevenMedia for inviting me to their very well planned festive premiere and making this review possible.

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