The BFG (2016) Movie Review
The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) is based upon a children book with the same name. It tells the story of a little orphan girl who seeks adventure, and gets it when she is suddenly taken away from her orphanage by a giant in the night and they share a magical adventure in a giant-world.
As the masterful director Steven Spielberg teams up with Disney for this adaption, expectations were high since he is one of the most well-known and best directors of all time. The craft and magic of all of this films is inexcusable. He’s made pure classics like E.T, Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Now he’s handling the adaption of one of the most beloved children classics of all time. And now although The BFG is not nearly up to those standards, it’s nevertheless a very solid film and it’s a lot of fun and magical.
As Disney adapts and remakes classics, their effort for visuals and motion camera work has certainly increased. With earlier this year, The Jungle Book proved just how a movie can feel so real yet it being all computer animated based. The BFG continues Disney’s impressive visual style, as the combination of small and real worlds is truly amazing. This film took us into a magical, beautiful world that felt so real and realistic. Besides stunningly amazing visuals and CG, there are many other aspects of the film-making craft that make this film simply so wonderful to watch.
One really amazing aspect of this film is, of course, Spielberg’s directing. Even though this movie can, itself, can get a bit spotty with some uneven areas since it’s such a short story being turned into a live-adaption film, Spielberg knows what he’s doing. His craft is effortless to watch- the story and characters he presents on screen are a delight to watch because he knows how to develop them well with the solid writing behind them. He’s a master man behind the camera, and his magical presence is felt throughout the whole experience. He’s the driving magical force of the whole story.
Another really remarkable about this film would be the main child performance from Ruby Barnhill (first-time movie actor) and she does a terrific job playing Sophie. Usually child peformances are lacking in some ways because of their inexperience, but she does a great job at capturing her characters and she ends up making her well-written protagonist a likable, witty and smart girl. Mark Rylance as the voice of the BFG does a great as well, he definitely also manages to capture his character. All of the peformances and voice-work in this film are outstanding.
The story here is really magical and the characters are very well-written, and John William’s score is amazing (as usual!) And the relationship between the BFG and Sophie is really great and it’s where this film truly spark. However, where this film lacks it’s magical spark and falls flat would for, one aspect, be the duration. This film is nearly two hours long, yet it’s a children’s book. This movie does have a lot of, “live in the moment” scenes and the movie does sort of wrap around itself a lot in a way. It makes for a film that drags at times, but the magic and the craft overcome for most of the film.
However, the third act (roughly, last 30-40 minutes of the film) are still quite full of magic, but it doesn’t feel the same. The movie feels like it’s outdoing itself in length and the movie isn’t really there with us anymore. As great as the film’s craft is, the movie lacks a sense of total pace throughout and therefore it lacks in areas. However, that’s not to say that this movie is truly spectacular to watch. It just does feel a little lacking in some parts and the film therefore isn’t as great as it could be.
However, with great craft and heart, laughs and tensity, this is a film worth checking out for it’s messages and what it offers for a magical adventure. A fun family adventure is what this film works best as.
CONSENSUS: The BFG may become too uneven and spotty at times to feel coherent as one whole, but Spielberg’s terrific directing as well as a great child performance and fantastic motion camera work make this is a magical and fun adventure that offers a lot to love.