Possibly the best movie sequel of a family live-action pic in a long, long time
Be honest. Did any mortal keep the hope of a critical and commercial success over a work focused on, almost fully, a bear coming from the "darkest and most remote place of Peru", who ended up involved in a myriad of jams in the UK? Statistically, the optimistic list was really reduced. Within this amount of loyal followers were the executives from sexual-harassment accused Harvey Weinstein's company, who decided to bet on it, giving the green light to this fish-out-of-water adventure centered on the unforeseen incidents of Michael Bond's naive and inherently funny animal. In January 2015, we had the chance to get into a movie theater to witness a film that enjoyed a recognizable British anatomy, driven by the overwhelming talent of Sally Hawkins, Nicole Kidman, Peter Capaldi, the fantastic Ben Whishaw and, of course, the hypnotic and fascinating skills of each member of the creative crew, who had as a captain and principal responsible for the placid surprise that turned out to be the feature film, he's Paul King. With "Paddington" could unfold, with certainty, a hypothesis about the real cinematographic experience, in other words, a film is truly surprising, generally, when it produces sudden good emotions and, at the same time, manages to leave the poor expectations behind the seat. What was predicted as a sure disaster, ended up being a warm and charismatic story about love, the importance of family, ingenuity and honesty, a work that resonated at the box office and critics like no one expected and partly thanks to the original eye of Erik Wilson and the entire artistic team, as well as the plausible performances by the main cast. So the first film got to generate enough expectation and interest to set a sequel in motion, having behind them a dangerous BAFTA nomination, forcing them to put all their efforts in the next flick. Returning with the same director, writer and most of the cast and crew, "Paddington 2" joins the anomalous kind of sequels that don't derive in annihilating crushers, because it enhances the best features from the first installment and condenses them into new qualities, becoming it, again, into a film brimming with personality and attractive, an ideal choice for the whole family, while giving the luxury of boasting of being one of the most razzle-dazzle and fresh visual eccentricities of the year. For your consideration: This sequel has been nominated for three BAFTAs, period.
In the latest installment, Aunt Lucy is the main plot actuator. Not for nothing is who, along with Uncle Pastuzo, open the film, narrating how they got our charismatic jungle bear. Her birthday present, a burdensome and didactic book about London, becomes irrevocable MacGuffin, given that it's a simple and ingenious alibi to display the achievement of humorous and dramatic set-pieces, which abound in the film. Around this simple but charming theme, a material sample of love, Paddington will be involved in a tragicomedy of major proportions, where he slides from a hairdresser to a window cleaner, from a prisoner to a fugitive, obviously, under a characteristic PG-rated and naive filter.
First of all, the new installment inserts, in my opinion, a female predominance that is a little synthetic, forced and purposeful to the issues of today's women and men equality. In the opening scene, it's not papa bear who executes dangerous feats, it's Aunt Lucy, who proves to have enough guts, up to there a generous honor, however, all female sub-plots in the Brown family become erroneously comic: swimming an entire ocean or writing a men-free newspaper? Really? Fortunately, the excessive female empowerment ceases from there, and perhaps it'd have worked better if this cool load had been distributed throughout the film, the saturation of the onset didn't help at all. Moreover, the script is not exempt from showing stereotyped and traditional versions and failed comedy moments, but, they're, luckily, limited, opening the way to the eccentricities that enable it to be a family film, probably, belonging to the best of the best of the new century.
As most of the supporting plots lack a solid and credible identity, writers Simon Farnaby and Paul King opt to deposit all their narrative inventiveness in the protagonist's central plot, since, in the end, it's he who must be under the spotlight, of course, an action made possible by a three-dimensional antagonist. Hugh Grant stands in for the main role in the scenes where the bear is missing, because this villain, a funny character and peculiar enough not to surpass the barrier of the absurd, makes possible the gratifying amount of comedy situations and justifies, eloquently, the progress of the story and its corresponding junctures. The acting power not only lies on the antagonist's shoulders, we also receive charming and juicy interpretations from actors such as Peter Capaldi and Sally Hawkins, creating a dynamic pace and a fluid connection with the audience.
It's important to dedicate a whole paragraph to the unexpected humor of the feature film because supported by elements previously mentioned such as cast or artistic inventiveness, it manages to be one of the best shaped, most virtuous and functional comedies of recent times. It's known that within the feasible "Paddington" movie franchise, the comic factor rests mostly upon the shoulders of the dewy-eyed bear, because of this we see how, amusingly, different jobs pop up through the life of the animal. With all the different variables and combinations for comedy genre, the film chooses to put one more physical and boisterous in scenes where the nice protagonist is usually the architect, in the same way, it's evident a dynamic and sincere collective charm that always derives from the interaction between the characters and the leading role. Likewise, the screenwriters are perceptive enough to interweave every funny moment with subsequent situations, in other words, the characters or actions, they perform without intent, are generally part of a humorous range bigger than the achieved with a single scene, a better result.
On this occasion, the vivid colors, an innate feature of the first film, return, however, it differs, radically, because they don't end up being cloying, Erik Wilson knows how to endow a film focused on a defined-personality animal, clearly, supported by a source of inspiration, however, this doesn't devitalize the enchantment and strength of a world that makes speeches through the visual landscapes with aplomb about hope and union. A major achievement is the artistic section of the work, it's dazzling and laborious the way in which they avoid ridicule moves even having pink-dressed prisoners, a family with extravagant garments or a metropolis with serious wrapping but colorful content; every little feature is visually coherent as a whole, a polychromatic whole. It's a huge victory for family comedies. Added to the handsome cinematography, it seems incalculable the number of special effects responsible who took an active part in the film, however, based on their work on specific scenes, it's possible to give approximations with full conviction. While in the first installment, they projected at the beginning and at the end of the story how the life of each of the members of the family develops as a group, jumping from one room to another as if it were a mock-up, the second entry pushes this resource beyond, it introduces visual-narrative techniques to make the progress of the story more energetic; beautiful, entertaining and imaginative mini-interventions thanks to the painstaking work of the editing and art crew. A special mention deserves the homage to films of past decades, inserting sporadic musical set-pieces that reach their top with the appearance, in flesh and bone, of the band in the scenes, an interesting, respectful and extremely nostalgic tactic.
No wonder, Paul King's "Paddington 2" returns to the top, materializing splendid visual wills and proposing important teachings, operations that allow it to be a compelling film for general audiences; A creative and deep-felt comedy that means a real event because it vindicates the poor quality of the most recent family flicks. As a motion picture, it borders on the critical perfection and commercially has become a moderate hit, however, the true victory of King's movie is to conceive one of the best cinematic adventures about love, family and, could not miss the peculiarities of a charismatic kind-hearted bear; creatively surprising and narratively dynamic, we welcome a feature film that is truly worth paying for, without noticing its smell of marmalade.