After a three-year break followed by spending time delving into the Cold War with Tom Hanks in Bridge of Spies, director Steven Spielberg is back in the fantasy realm with The BFG. Based on the children’s book written by Roald Dahl, The BFG tells the story of a little orphan girl named Sophie who is snatched up by a giant and taken from London to the giant’s mysterious home. The two start an unlikely friendship that leads them on adventures that include the Queen of England, catching dreams and fending off other larger giants who want Sophie as snack.
Spielberg brings the world of The BFG to life in visually stunning fashion. The film is absolutely gorgeous as BFG and Sophie chase down little dream balls of light with minds of their own. Spielberg manages to create a world that look as if the sketches from the book have leaped from the page to the screen.
Oscar winner Mark Rylance brings BFG to life with his weary face and cautious smiles. The giant has a cartoonish look with oversized ears and hands, but the design works considering he is a character from literature that is meant for children. Plus, it’s cool to see the oversized man sneak around London and hide right in plain sight.
The BFG is a visual masterpiece, but it is not without its problems. The film never seems to get its footing when trying to tell a cohesive story. Doors are opened to explore our characters further then suddenly slammed shut with not many answers about our players involved. The BFG also has numerous scenes that just don’t flow together well in the overall story. One second BFG is taking Sophie to a magical dream pond and the next they’re recruiting the military to fight the other giants who are tormenting bullies. Story points are discussed, but are just left on the table to be unanswered. Kids in attendance may not care about these plot holes, but the adults will be scratching their heads a little.
The other struggle The BFG and Spielberg deal with is what type of movie experience it wants to be. A children’s film or a crossover hit all ages will enjoy. The giant’s unique dialogue, (which stays true to the book) is delivered with perfection by Rylance, but is still silly talk meant for kids. The film is also quite long and dark at certain times with the lonely BFG harassed constantly by the other larger men of his species. The little ones who The BFG is geared towards could become bored during the bloated two-hour running time. The film is also very anti-climatic as you wait for Spielberg to take it to the next level, which never really happens. The BFG is a beautiful film, but it is not without its flaws.
Overall, I give The BFG 2.75 out of 4 stars.
Read all my reviews here–>Entertainment Now with T.M. Powell