THE BFG [2016]

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Directed by Steven Spielberg

Written by Melissa Mathison (screenplay), Roald Dahl (based on the book by)

Starring: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton


Mr Spielberg again shows us his versatility, following last year’s cold-war drama Bridge of Spies with this Roald Dahl adaptation of The BFG. I won’t go through the plot as it seems to be fairly well known, though I hadn’t read the book so I had no idea what I was in for. I knew what BFG stood for, and that was about it.

I’m glad I went in blind as this was one of the most entertaining films I have seen in a while. It is funny, it looks spectacular, and the story is one of kindness and hope, of friendship. Overcoming all odds, all that great stuff. Though aimed at kids, there is some popcorn for everyone to munch on; the film has a lot of slapstick comedy, and the odd way in which the BFG talks is also amusing and consistently interesting.

!!!!

Surprisingly, to me at least, there are some tense moments, especially near the beginning when the other giants crash into The BFG’s home. Sophie narrowly avoids being spotted, despite being smelled out by the giants, who of course have giant noses to help them smell a human, or in their eyes, food.

After Sophie arrives in Giant Country early into the film, she learns of her new friend’s hobby: catching dreams from people while they sleep. He also has the ability to create dreams himself, and can use this to affect other’s dreams. He does this to Sophie, giving her a nightmare about escaping and being eaten by a giant. This is for her own safety as other, much bigger giants roam Giant Country.

It is an infinitely interesting concept, and The BFG says himself that dreams are fascinating things. He is right too, the true nature of dreams will never be 100% understood, but it is clear that they can affect anyone, especially if the dream is vivid or nightmarish.

The BFG is kind-natured, which contrasts well against the rest of the giants. While he is often threatened by the other, bigger giants who eat humans, he is the one that holds the ultimate power, whether he is aware of it or not: the ability to manipulate the subconscious mind.

This is also one of the best looking movies I have had the pleasure of seeing on the big screen. The cinematography is consistently interesting and on the move, while the colours are bright and light up the screen beautifully. The constant contrast of young Sophie against The BFG makes for interesting viewing too, as their size difference is so immense. The CGI work is flawless, never looking fake or unrealistic, in fact it has the opposite effect, sucking us into the film’s world

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Mark Rylance nailed his role in Bridge of Spies, and he does the same here, as his character goes through a wealth of emotions and we see his personality change before our eyes. five beer(1)Ruby Barnhill also plays Sophie excellently, starting the film as an orphan, unhappy with her life. The way she changes and the way her confidence grows is uplifting and perfect for a young audience. Both characters are very different people by film’s end, and the theatre I was in actually had a few people clapping at the end of it. I wouldn’t go that far, but this is easily the best ‘summer’ film I have seen since the last Planet of the Apes film, and is a refreshing change of pace from all those goddamn superhero movies.

One beer short of a sixer

5/6

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19 Comments on “THE BFG [2016]

  1. Dude, very chuffed to see you have taken a shine to The B.F.G.! Yay! Someone besides me stands behind this film! πŸ˜€ haha. It is such a wonderful, feel-good movie that’s both wholesome for kids and adults. Probably more so for the kids, but there’s a lot to nibble on for grown-ups as well. I liked the original made-for-British-television a lot but you’re 100% right on, the visual splendor of the Spielberg version really helps his interpretation stand out. That scene by the Dream Tree has my vote for best visual effects of the year. I do smell an Oscar nom for this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah that whole Dream World part looked just perfect. I always maintained that 2001 was the best looking film ever, but I think this has taken its spot! At least for the best looking fgilm of the modern era. I can’t think of anything that comes close… Fear and Loathing maybe? But the effects in this, I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m glad I read your post and went to see it πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • I would put Interstellar, The Martian and anything Terrence Malick in there as well, but yes. All good choices you mentioned as well. Truly a beautiful movie. A work of art, even.

        Like

  2. I know I’ll like this when I watch it πŸ™‚ how can there be bad reviews? So glad you enjoyed it and speak highly of it!! A film about kindness, about giants, about friendship – what is there not to love?!! πŸ™‚

    Like

    • Its great, dang this looked SO GOOD. See it on the big screen, you need to.

      I don’t get the bad reviews. People cling to the original too much I think. Both the movie and the book. This is Spielberg and co.s adaptation, and it is brilliant!

      Like

  3. Great review buddy, but I can’t say I’m particuarly excited for this one. Spielberg just doesn’t appeal to me for some reason, when he tries to do these big-buget, effects heavy, children friendly films.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah usually he doesn’t appeal to me much either, I’ve never been his biggest fan. But I laughed a lot and loved the visuals, the story did get stunted in areas, I probably should have given it 4.5 but oh well.

      I do think its been a good while since Spielberg made a truly great film

      Thanks for the kind words πŸ™‚

      Like

      • Hey no problem πŸ˜€
        Oh yeah, for me Bridge of Spies and Tintin were good, but I think Saving Pvt. Ryan was the last film of his that I truly loved, and was pretty much blown away by.

        Like

  4. Indeed it was a refreshing change from superhero season. A season I don’t much care for.
    You already know my thoughts but it was definitely a charming little adventure. Glad to hear you enjoyed Rylance’s work too. I really need to see Bridge of Spies now!

    Like

    • Yeah man Bridge of Spies was great. It actually has some reeeally funny dialogue, Coen Brothers style, cos they worked on the script. It makes the movie in my opinion, it could have been a bit bland, but the script is fantastic, as is the acting.

      And yes, definitely a refreshing change. I can’t stand superhero crap, what everyone loves I seem to despise, though I did like Suicide Squad, despite the critics shitting all over it. I guess when it comes to those movies I feel the opposite to everyone else!

      Oh, and yes, Rylance was fantastic in this and BoS. I’m interested to hear what you think of that one

      Like

      • To be honest, as much as I like Hanks and Spielberg, Bridge of Spies never floated my boat. However, it was the Coens’ involvement that always had me wondering. I own a copy, so there’s reason for me not to catch up.

        Like

  5. It is in contrast to most of what is on offer today. I wonder if that is leading to good box office or whether this will be something that comes to be appreciated in time. I will say though that is a film made off an existing property which is Hollywood’s thing at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It certainly is Hollywood’s thing. We need more Wes Andersons, more creativity than all the superhero/remake/sequel merry-go-round BS that we are just swamped with all year.

      From what I have heard, this didn’t do too great at the box-office, which is a shame as despite being a remake/re-imagining, it was muuuuch better than most of the crap Hollywood turns out

      Liked by 1 person

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