When a young orphan, Sophie, looks out of her window one night, she doesn’t expect to see a giant looking back at her.
Snatched so she can’t tell, Sophie is transported to giant-land. But her initial fears dwindle as she befriends the BFG – the smallest giant in giant-land, shunned by his brothers because he refuses to eat children. Instead, the BFG catches dreams.
But Sophie is in danger –all of the children are. With the BFG, the queen of England and some snozzcumbers, a daring plan is hatched to eliminate the threat caused by the giants once and for all!
Film: The BFG
Director: Steven Spielberg
The original 1989 BFG film is one filled with such charm and innocence that I was excited to see what Spielberg does with the new version. The plot had a little more action – the other giants bullying poor BFG, for one thing – but the story was how I remembered it.
Unfortunately, the 2016 film didn’t have that same charm that I was hoping for. In all honesty, it disappointed me.
Mark Rylance was fantastic as the BFG. He had the perfect voice for it and I adored the way they wrote (and he performed) the speech of the Big Friendly Giant. I loved him from the start and wanted my own BFG.
But Ruby Barnhill as Sophie didn’t cut it for me. Part of it was the writing – she didn’t have the childhood wonder and innocence and some of the things she was saying made her bossy, irritating and plain rude. But it wasn’t just the writing, the acting didn’t work for me either.
Having just seen The Jungle Book and witnessing what a young actor can do when interacting with green screens and voice-overs, Barnhill’s performance wasn’t in the same league. Maybe future roles will prove me wrong, but in The BFG, I couldn’t connect with Sophie’s character. Which was a shame.
The film had a good message for young children about standing up for yourself and stopping bullying. It was hardly subtle considering Sophie is shouting it at the BFG in a less than tactful way. But it is still there and hopefully children will release that if a Big Friendly Giant can stand up for himself against people much bigger than him, then so can they.
The visuals in this film were stunning – and I expected nothing less from a Spielberg adaption. I found dream-land particularly beautiful, with dreams darting about just beyond Sophie’s reach. I’m certain there is a message in there, especially as the only one she successfully catches is a nightmare.
I think this would be an enjoyable film for children, especially if they have read the books – or you’re trying to get them to read the books. But for me, personally, it didn’t do it. It won’t be one that I will watch again, although I do now have the urge to find the cartoon film and indulge in some true charm and magic.