The BFG Review

 

Synopsis: A girl named Sophie encounters the Big Friendly Giant who, despite his intimidating appearance, turns out to be a kindhearted soul who is considered an outcast by the other giants because, unlike them, he refuses to eat children.

-IMDB

Roald Dahl has many great classic movie adaptations of his books and Steven Spielberg has his turn at adapting another one of them, this time it's the classic The BFG. I read this book when I was a little kid in 4th grade and I enjoyed it so The BFG has a special place in my mind. Naturally I was excited to hear they were making a movie and it was going to be directed by Steven Spielberg no less and while this movie is a pretty faithful adaptation of the book it's not as heartfelt or exciting as say E.T. a movie kind of similar in many ways. The BFG was an enjoyable time with some beautiful visuals and great acting behind it but the movie suffered a little bit from slow pacing. 

The BFG is an interesting movie about a girl named Sophie that befriends a giant who is called the Big Friendly Giant, BFG for short. I liked that they chose to stay faithful to the book almost beat by beat from the book but at times it doesn't quite work in a movie especially the first half of the movie. The BFG I felt dragged on a bit and even found myself a little bored at times. It definitely takes its time establishing and developing the relationship between Sophie and the BFG. This movie may not be the most deeply engaging movie it certainly serves its purpose as a good family movie to go see with your kids. It's got an unusual story that is very imaginative and quite ridiculous but for kids it should be wildly interesting. For older kids and adults the premise of the story may be a little too crazy it’s also a little jarring that since it presents itself as being set in our real world but with giants secretly hidden away. I do like how genuine and believable that friendship between Sophie and BFG and that is definitely helped along immensely by the awesome performances of Ruby Barnhill and Mark Rylance. Mark Rylance gave a great voice performance of the BFG, it was also great to see his facial expressions come through via motion capture as well. It gave the BFG a feeling of reality. The surprise was definitely Ruby Barnhill though who plays Sophie! She gives an incredible performance which is even more incredible considering she was acting against a green screen most of the time; even well trained adult actors have a hard time with that. She adorable, funny and commands a strong presence all at once. Definitely an actor I will keep an eye on in the future!

Visually this movie is beautiful. From the cinematography, lighting, CG and production design it was all masterfully done. All the giants looked great they had just enough of the CG “glossiness” to not make them look gross or too scary for younger kids. The sets and locations look amazing especially the Dream Tree sequence, they look like they could exist in the real world but still maintain the fantastical elements to make them look beautiful. A personal favorite of mine was oddly enough were the streets of London at night just outside of Sophie’s orphanage. The stabilization of the design of how they did the streets were really great to see.

The BFG is a beautiful movie with some great performances especially Ruby Barnhill as Sophie was great surprise to see. However the film is bogged down by slow build up and exposition which can drag the pacing of the movie down even border on boring at times. Ultimately this movie will be a pleasant time especially with the younger fans. Let me know what you thought about The BFG or what your favorite Roald Dahl books are in the comments! 

 

Should You See It: If You're Bored

Theater Worthy: No

Final Grade: C+