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The BFG: Spielberg Brings Roald Dahl Classic to Life

  • Mark RylanceRebecca Hall
  • 3DAction & Adventure...
  • Steven Spielberg
reviewed by
Marija Loncarevic
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The BFG: Spielberg Brings Roald Dahl Classic to Life

While it may not be one of his most moving as the book on which it’s based, The BFG is a technically impressive adaptation of the popular Ronald Dahl 1982 children’s book of the same name which, despties of its minor setbacks, still manages to embody enough heart and whimsy to bring the much-celebrated and beloved story through to the big screen.

The story takes place in England in the 1980’s and is centred on Sophie (Barnhill); a curious young orphan who, after encountering a giant (Rylance) late one night, is ‘kidnapped’ by the titan and is taken to the Giant Country so that she doesn’t accidentally blab about his existence to the public. Luckily for her, the giant turns out to be a kind and gentle spirit who, unlike his fellow giants – who are much bigger in size and only eat children – eats vegetables and spends most of his nights capturing dreams and delivering them to those in need.

Quickly befriending her new pal, Sophie – who is quick to name him The Big Friendly Giant – is soon introduced to a whole new world. However, her presence in the Giant Country soon attracts the unwanted attention from other giants, who are led by a bully named Fleshlumpeater (Clement), who enjoy invading the human world to snatch and eat its children. Coming up with a plan, Sophie hopes that, with a little bit of help from the BFG, she will be able to put a stop to their terror.

Written by Melissa Mathison – the screenwriter of E.T who unfortunately passed away not long after The BFG finished filming – The BFG is a pleasing fantasy adventure which features an endearing story of an unexpected friendship between a human girl and a large foreign being from another world. Visually impressive and told through clever use of motion-capture technology, Spielberg spends quite a bit of time introducing us to the Giant Country, particularly the inside of The BFG’s home, devoting plenty of attention to detail that helps you become fully immersed in world.  

On the down side, however, fart jokes are aplenty, for some reason – something perhaps a little out-of-character for the famed director – and the story takes a while before it’s given a proper goal. Luckily, though, the performances are all solid with Barnhill – who takes on her very first acting gig with plenty of charm and wide-eyed innocence – coming out on top, whileRylance is pleasing as the dippy and mumbling giant.

All in all, The BFG is a worthy and visually inspiring live-action adaptation of the celebrated novel which may not always stay on course – or breathe that Spielbergian magic we’ve all come to know – but it’s still a relatively enjoyable fantasy adventure which both the young and old can enjoy.       

Like This? Try

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), James and the Giant Peach (1996), Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)

360 Tip

The BFG marks the first time in his fifty-year career that Spielberg has directed a full-length motion picture for Walt Disney.

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