#REVIEW: “THE BFG”
Review by Jonathan Godfrey for Mr. Will Wong
Roald Dahl helped rebuild western culture in the wake of World War II. His stories let survivors escape into their imagination, which became fitting fodder for filmmakers ever after. From Willy Wonka to James and the Giant Peach, the Movies about Dahl’s kindhearted heroes have been beloved by children of all ages. The latter, produced by Disney, was the company’s first adaptation of the author’s work. The BFG is their latest.
Helmed by Steven Spielberg, The BFG is the story of Sophie and her Big Friendly Giant. Ruby Barnhill makes her cinematic debut as the adventurous orphan Sophie. The Film begins with a three-dimensional walk-through of her stoic English orphanage. There she informs us of the “Witching Hour,” (3 AM in her opinion). Then, while the world sleeps, her childish wonder keeps her up with worry. Then, amidst the cover of night, she is swiped from her bed and whisked off to the land giants. Mark Rylance plays the BFG, a runt of a giant who lives with his child-eating brethren. Unlike his brothers, he only consumes vegetables and a fart inducing concoction he calls, “Frobscuttle.” It makes for humorous moments, but there’s plenty of astounding ones as well.
The 3D in this Film is some of the best seen in years. It’s not often that the medium is used well, but The BFG is full of sequences that effectively employ the depth of 3D. In addition, the visuals also honor the work of Quentin Blake, the illustrator known for designing the worlds and characters of Roald Dahl. It’s pleasantly picturesque, especially the Dream Country. It is there that the tale turns, and Sophie begins to help the BFG battle his big brothers and protect the children of England.
Ruby Barnhill is brilliant in her role, and Mark Rylance is a huge and hilarious co-star. Spielberg leads the two of them through their character development and onto a delightful plot twist and a charming conclusion. It’s fun for the whole family, and further evidence that despite the troubling year at the box office, Disney is poised perhaps for record-breaking numbers. So for those of you looking for something sweet and silly, look no further than Spielberg’s latest.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada release The BFG Friday, July 1, 2016.