Roald Dahl and Steven Spielberg are two names that work wonderfully together to create an enjoyable and magical adventure that captures the heart and imagination.
In a world that is filled with gloom and doom currently, it is wonderful that Steven Spielberg has brought this charming (if slightly frightening tale) to life in the most colourful and vibrant way.
The film (as the book does) begin with Sophie a little girl living in an orphanage who one night spots a huge and potentially frightening creature who snatches her out of bed and takes her to his home in Giant Country. Later, it transpires this creature is the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) and together they conspire to prevent the other more terrifying giants from causing the disappearances of other children (although this is not really referenced to).
What is so lovely about this film is the relationship between The BFG (Mark Rylance) and Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) which despite the difference in species is natural, tender and heartwarming. Rylance’s performance as the Big Friendly Giant exactly matches my own impressions of the giant when I originally read the book as a child – his confusion and mixing up of words constantly brings a smile to the audience. But Rylance is perfectly matched in performance by Ruby Barnhill, whose determination and bossiness makes her endearing rather than irritating and never looks at all fazed by appearing in a big film such as this.
Of course, as in many book to film adaptations there are a few changes from the book – for example although there are bad giants there is never a reference to them eating the children – which for obvious reasons was considered to be a bit too frightening image for younger audiences to cope with.
But it is still a real thrill when references to snozzcumbers and whizzpoppers are made, showing a real affection for Dahl’s original and quirky language that still delights today – showing once again that there is no one quite like Dahl for imagination.
A wonderful adventure that will delight audiences of all ages (although some scenes might be a little bit scary for the very young) and bursts full of colour and life.
The BFG is available to buy on DVD through Amazon now.