A giant among clean-cut family films

Monday July 11, 2016 Written by Published in Entertainment
The Big Friendly Giant and Sophie negotiate their way through Giant Country. 16070822 The Big Friendly Giant and Sophie negotiate their way through Giant Country. 16070822

THE MUCH loved children’s writer Roald Dahl in 1982 published an award-winning book called the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) which has been recently adapted as a theatrical live-action film directed by Steven Spielberg. 

 

It takes a legend to produce a Roald Dahl classic and Spielberg has tackled the legendary author’s work in epic style.

The old-fashioned tale that wears its heart on its sleeve and veers away from today’s typical action-packed thrillers, steers us into an enchanting story of a young orphan and a big friendly giant.

The opening sequence introduces the protagonist Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) who is whisked away from her London orphanage to Giant Country by the Big Friendly Giant, voiced by Mark Rylance.

Sophie is fearful of BFG’s baleful appearance and ominous behaviour but soon realises that he is actually very friendly.

“I has told you. I is not into eating people. Not I. I is a freaky giant. I is a nice and jumbly giant. I is the BFG!”

Confused at first by the BFG’s jumbled speech, Sophie soon learns to make sense of his inadvertently amusing delivery.

Young Sophie is put in danger by the hasty arrival of the Bloodbottler Giant and the other giants, who suspects BFG is harbouring her.

The BFG and Sophie come up with a creative plan to take a stand against the human-eating giants. 

The movie creates great suspense, not to mention the laughter generated when BFG pulls out his “whizpopping” soda which causes large amounts of flatulence due to the bubbles sinking downwards.

Although the film takes no time in introducing the audience to Sophie and the BFG, I didn’t find that the story dragged on.

A deeper relationship could have been built between the protagonists to develop more sentimental response when the BFG returned Sophie home, but the handful of flawless computer effects and special features are definitely a treat for movie fans to marvel upon.

Spielberg does justice to the power of Roald Dahl’s imagination, bringing book characters and the magical plot to reality.

The “standing up for yourself” theme is a bit of a cliché, but doesn’t spoil the fun. 

This movie may not be for everyone, but if you are a fan of Disney, Dahl or Spielberg and appreciate the value of a good, clean family movie, then it is a must-see. And it will certainly leave children with a message of acceptance, courage and friendship.

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