Directed by Steven Spielberg Starring Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill and Rafe Spall Film Review by Sarah Smeaton
As with any remake, I was equal parts excited and terrified when I heard the news that The BFG would once again fill the big screen. With the knowledge that Steven Spielberg would be back in the director’s chair along with Melissa Mathison writing the screenplay, my heart palpations eased. A creative duo that hasn’t teamed up since ET in 1982, Spielberg and Mathison were the only people to be entrusted with such a well-known and well-loved piece of fiction. Coincidently, 1982 was also the year The BFG was first published. Well the stars have certainly aligned in more ways than one for this production of The BFG. A dreamy escapism into Giant Country, The BFG rigidly sticks to Roald Dahl’s original plotline, but with the addition of mind-blowingly spectacular CGI, you can’t help but be fully immersed into this phenomenal world. The beauty of The BFG, like all of Roald Dahl’s masterpieces, is of course its unquestionable ability to transport you from this world into another.
Mark Rylance as the Big Friendly Giant is moving, endearing and ultimately everything you could ever ask from the friendliest giant in the world. His unique language skills are as funny as they always were, the whizzpopping is as laugh-out-loud funny as when you were a kid and the underlying message to always follow your dreams is as poignant and memorable. Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) is punchier than the quiet and sensible Sophie of the Disney classic, but the emotive friendship that quickly develops between these two lonely souls is as endearing ever. Rafe Spall’s minor role as Mr. Tibb’s is just as memorable, even for such a small part, although it’s not entirely clear what his accent is meant to be; this film reviewer is still deciding between American and Scottish.
This is simply an extraordinary viewing experience for both those seeking to bathe in childhood nostalgia and those who have never even heard of The BFG. I can say with certainty that nobody has hyped this film up more than me, and it still delivered. Roald Dahl, despite notoriously never being happy with film adaptations of his fiction, would most surely have been proud to have seen this masterpiece in all its stunning beauty here. What Steven Spielberg has created is a timeless classic, which will transcend over generations and ensure the whimsical, whizzpopping dreams of the BFG live on forever in our hearts.