The BFG (2016)
Genre : Fantasy/Family
Country : UK/USA/Canada
Mark Rylance : BFG
Ruby Barnhill : Sophie
Penelope Wilton : The Queen
Director : Steven Spielberg
“Where am I?
Steven Spielberg knows how to bring the magical world of Roald Dahl to life on a screen in a masterly way. Occasionally I need to watch a not too complicated or weighty film. Such a film that takes you to an enchanting, carefree world and to forget about everyday worries for a while. This time it’s a lovable little girl, Sophie (Ruby Barnhill), who after seeing the big friendly giant wandering through the dark streets of London is kidnapped by him and taken to Giant Country. Just like Mowgli in “The Jungle Book“, Sophie is surrounded by computer-generated animations. But not completely. The face of the BFG looked quite familiar. Afterwards I discovered that Mark Rylance, who recently starred as Rudolf Abel in “Bridge of Spies” (also directed by Spielberg and he received an Academy Award for it), was the one whose face was used to shape the friendly, vegetarian giant.
Again, it’s admirable how a little puny girl must act in a void, because I think the whole country inhabited by the giant giants is just a room filled with blue screens. Especially the majestic scene where she goes hunting for dreams along with the gentle giant, is a prime example of technological magic. When the less peaceful giants start looking for Sophie, those images made me think of “Jack the Giant Slayer“. And the made-up language used by the friendly giant, proves where J.K. Rowling took inspiration from so she could design the quirky lingo her characters spoke in the Potter series. But it’s particularly the shaping and impressive design that you’re gazing at with open mouth. The landscapes in Giant Country and the home of BFG is detailed and sharply imaged. But especially old London looks fantastic. Nocturnal London where the big friendly giant wanders around so he can blow his dream into the children’s bedrooms and where he ingeniously (and sometimes hilariously) manages to hide for wandering night owls.
Most importantly is to let yourself be carried away in this wonderful world, otherwise it all looks rather childish. The film isn’t particularly terrifying. This makes it suitable for little kids. And they’ll amuse themselves when the gentle giant pulls out his home-brewed “frobscottle”. Drinking this greenish substance results in a fairly serious form of flatulence. Normally you’ll see comical situations with lots of farting or belching in a vulgar comedy. But here it produces some hilarious moments (even in the presence of the Queen).
There’s actually nothing negative to say about this movie. Besides the fact that it was never really exciting or impressive. Maybe I’m not so easily impressed by something and are we already accustomed to these fabulous gadgets used in the world of movies. But I didn’t experience that wow feeling when watching “The BFG“. It wasn’t like the first “Harry Potter” movie. Or the first part of “The Lord of the Rings“. There wasn’t that magical atmosphere that makes it seem like you were teleported to another imaginary world. And that’s what I missed in this, especially charming, fairy tale. In a way it’s also a touching story. The not so big giant, eating slimy cucumber-like vegetables instead of human flesh and thereby being bullied. And then there’s that vulnerable little girl jumping into the breach for him. An engaging and simultaneously amusing story that younger children can enjoy. In other words, a suitable family film.