The BFG is a beloved children’s book by Roald Dahl, it has been adapted previously into an animated movie and a theatre show but now the live action movie has arrived. Directed by Steven Spielberg the movie features Mark Rylance in the title role as the Big Friendly Giant, newcomer Ruby Barnhill as Sophie, and comedians Bill Hader and Jemaine Clement as two of the more flesh hungry giants. Being such a beloved tale there were big expectations to be met, and while cinematically it was gorgeous the the movie seemed to have a bit of a slow start.
Seeing the characters come to life was exciting and the film itself was quite beautiful but the Geek Mountain team all seem to agree that it took a bit to get started. There were laughs to be had along the way, most notably around BFG’s enthusiasm for sharing his favourite drink, frobscottle, the kind with bubbles that go down instead of up.
The BFG himself was a highlight. Once the character got past the initial awkwardness he become the lovable, word fumbling runt of the litter giant he was expected to be only to have his character take an unfortunate strange and dark turn when they added another snatched child to the story. In this retelling, Sophie is the BFG’s second accidental kidnapping, the implication being that a young boy had also seen the BFG and been taken home with him once before, but the other more cannibalistic giants had in fact found out and… Well, you can see where this is going.
It appeared to be intended as a way to frame how awful the giants were, but the giants actions themselves were rather contrary to that. This version of the giants had them appear mostly as unintelligent goofballs, as opposed to the savage, flesh hungry creatures they were supposed to be. It gave the giants scenes more of a lighthearted feel, painting them as schoolyard bullies and making it far more family friendly than the alternative. The movie did provide a lot of laughs, especially towards the second half of the movie, watching the BFG interacting with the Queen of England and the hilarity that comes with welcoming a giant into a palace.
All in all the movie was beautiful, with a slow start but very entertaining and appropriate both for families and fans of the BFG. I definitely recommend catching it on the big screen, while you can.