As someone who is a huge fan of the first Paddington film, I had high hopes for the second, and it did not disappoint.
In Paddington 2, we follow the escapades of Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw) as he tries to get a pop-up book of London landmarks to send to his Aunt Lucy for her 100th birthday. Unfortunately, he does not have enough money to buy the book, and so he decides to get a job in order to save up for it. In true Paddington fashion, there is a montage of adorable mishaps as Paddington first tries his hand at being a barber (which ends disastrously), before settling for being a window cleaner. However, when he is only a day away from being able to afford it, the book is stolen by the dastardly Phoenix Buchanan (played by Hugh Grant), a previously famous but now washed-up actor and master of disguise who plans to use the book to discover the riches of the woman who made it. Paddington attempts to apprehend the thief and chases him through the streets of London, but, just as he is about to catch him, he disappears in a puff of smoke – leaving our poor hero to be arrested, charged, and sent to jail for the theft.
Paddington 2 is truly one of the loveliest films I’ve seen in a while, with a lot of heart and wonderful message
So, our heart-warming family film turns into a heart-warming prison film. As Paddington bonds with his jail mates, his adopted family, the Browns, try to discover who really stole the book so the little bear can be freed and give Aunt Lucy her birthday present.
Within the film, Paddington faces discrimination from many different people – most visibly his neighbour, Mr Curry (Peter Capaldi), who believes Paddington should be sent back to Peru as he is, in Mr Curry’s eyes, the root cause of everything going wrong in the neighbourhood. Luckily, though, the rest of the street disagrees and believes that Paddington enriches their lives, rather than ruins them, culminating into them all standing up to Mr Curry and chasing him away from the street.
Paddington 2’s message is that we are all different, but that means we all fit in, and we all have things we can contribute to make the world a better place. It encourages the viewers to stand up for what they believe in, and to challenge those who’s views are harmful to people they know. Paddington 2 is truly one of the loveliest films I’ve seen in a while, with a lot of heart and wonderful message. With the world the way it is today, it’s nice to escape into a primary-colour-filled world where bears that wear duffle coats and lovely red hats can create harmony with just a marmalade sandwich.