"Paddington 2"’s 100 percent fresh review on Rotten Tomatoes isn’t a bit or some meme taken too far. The recently released film deserves the praise it's receiving as it not only entertains the audience, but also teaches lessons we all need to hear in ways only a movie geared for children can.
At the offset of the film, we see our furry protagonist living in London with the Brown family. He misses his Aunt Lucy, but still manages to brighten the lives of everyone around him by being helpful in a selfless way. When Paddington sees the perfect birthday gift for his Aunt, he decides to work toward purchasing it.
His resourcefulness and drive ends up being his downfall as a local actor steals a book and frames Paddington. Our protagonist is sent to prison.
Do you think Paddington let it keep him down?
"Paddington 2" doesn’t present a one-dimensional character that remains amusingly stagnant during his tribulations. We see him battling the isolation of being in a cell, missing his family and worrying they will forget him. Yet, while his world was rapidly changing around him and his future remained uncertain, he didn’t forget the fundamental aspects of his character — loyalty, good manners and kindness.
Through staying true to himself under these tough circumstances, he transforms the prison around him. I won’t ruin the ending, but the bear that starts the movie isn’t the one that finishes it.
The movie is funny, witty and smart, but you can find better movies in all of those categories. Paddington does more than entertain, it reminds us that we’re best when we remain positive.
As university students, especially those of us about to graduate, we share a lot of experiences that Paddington does in that cell.
We’re stressed, trying to maintain some sort of self in a world that seems bent on being cruel and crushing. We’re coming to terms with the fact that we’re leaving the families we’ve built in Chapel Hill, departing from the comfort that the familiarity of home brings. Change is rapid, people can be mean, but Paddington tells us that only matters as much as we say it does.
The movie doesn’t say “never change,” instead encouraging the viewer to positively adapt to the world around us, but to never betray the things we hold most dear.
Paddington found a home wherever he was and continued to be helpful and polite. So I guess that is my goal as I finish my last semester and continue on with life. Keep the old friends alive in memory and through communication, but be open to meeting new ones no matter where they may be.
"Paddington 2" may not be the “best movie ever" but it is a movie we all need to see — if only to escape life for an hour by watching an infinitely pure bear navigate human society.
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