This film brought me back to my childhood days of reading Roald Dahl Books and entering his wonderful world of imagination. The Big Friendly Giant, or BFG was a true classic as almost everyone from my generation knows about it. It is a story about a friendship between a giant and a little girl called Sophie.
As this movie was adapted from a children’s book, director Steven Spielberg, was able to keep some of these small story telling elements alive. The opening scene of a London alley way looks realistic but also, in a way, very comical. It feels like a perfect combination of the two different worlds placed together. In other parts of the film, it could be clearly seen that Spielberg had been influenced by Dahl’s long time partner and illustrator, Quentin Blake. The exaggerated ears of the BFG and the cape he wears all seem to have been inspired by Blake’s drawings.
One of my favorite moments appeared in the later portion of the movie. It was during the scene when the BFG and Sophie get to dine together with the Queen of England. Just like Dahl wrote in his book, the BFG sat on a grand piano with a dresser on top of it. The table had 4 grandfather clocks as it’s legs with a large wooden piece as the table top. Using a garden spade as a fork and a knight’s sword as a knife, the BFG had a very traditional English breakfast. But after he had a sip of coffee, which was served in a huge silver bowl, he decided to share some of his special drink, the frobscottle with everyone. Because the bubbles from this drink goes downwards it causes everyone to fart or as the BFG calls it “whizpopping”. He offered the drink to the Queen and her Generals. Once they feel the gas, the whizpopping began and it was expressed in the most exaggerated way possible. This use of exaggeration is justified here as the movie is based off a children’s book.
Although the overall story and concept is great, the acting was lacking a bit. It was felt that the actress, Ruby Barnhill, playing Sophie was not that great. Although Barnhill did a good job, I just felt some of her emotions were not conveyed thoroughly enough to truly express what Sophie is feeling towards the audience. I might be asking a bit much for to a little child who is the same age as my brother, 12. I feel like Games of Thrones star, Maisie Williams, would have been a better candidate for this role. Williams would have been perfect for the role when the first season of Game of Thrones came out. Although she has grown older I believe she would still be a good fit for this role.
The music to the movie really helped bring the emotions out and of course the great score was composed by John Williams. The short and beautiful motifs really added to the effects of the movie. The distinction between the urgent and calmness could clearly be seen. But within this intense music the undertone of a children’s movie could still be felt.
Overall, the BFG really captured my childhood dreams and imagination. It was a really great movie, turning dreams into reality.
Overall Rating: 6/10