Ten-year-old Sophie is in for the adventure of a lifetime when she meets the Big Friendly Giant (Mark Rylance). Naturally scared at first, the young girl soon realizes that the 24-foot behemoth is actually quite gentle and charming. As their friendship grows, Sophie's presence attracts the unwanted attention of Bloodbottler, ...more
Ten-year-old Sophie is in for the adventure of a lifetime when she meets the Big Friendly Giant (Mark Rylance). Naturally scared at first, the young girl soon realizes that the 24-foot behemoth is actually quite gentle and charming. As their friendship grows, Sophie's presence attracts the unwanted attention of Bloodbottler, Fleshlumpeater and other giants. After traveling to London, Sophie and the BFG must convince Queen Victoria to help them get rid of all the bad giants once and for all. less
Mark Rylance, considered as one of the greatest stage actors ever, picked up an Oscar for his role in Spielberg's previous, Bridge of Spies. As BFG, the Big Friendly Giant, he conjures sheer magic, with his expressive eyes, full of the dreaminess that suits his hobby in the movie - that of a dream-catcher. Ruby Barnhill, as Sophie, the orphan who catches sight of the usually invisible dream-catcher, also does a fair job. But Spielberg, who is known to stir emotions like never experienced before (think ET or Schindler's List) doesn't quite manage to pull it off quite well.
The movie's plot is a little too childish for the modern-day child. The Friendly Giant in collaboration with the Queen and Sophie plots to get rid of the notirious giants in Giant Land once and for all, so Sophie, whom they are after can live happily with him. Even ignoring this slightly naive, half-baked plot, the movie doesn't quite cook up the Giant and kid chemistry, despite its best intentions. We do enjoy a hilarious scene of BFG enjoying breakfast with the Queen, which ends in a bunch of green-gassed farts. The BFG weird pronnciation of English words is endearing and the way he keeps emoting through his eyes is an absolute joy. In fact, he is cuter and more adorable than the kid in the movie and that is too his credit. The visual effects are quite colorful and although the 3D is not over-the-top, the movie is a genuine visual delight. But, at its core, was the need for a deeper story, a deeper conflict and a deeper resolution. Without that, it just feels like a drag, and gets really boring towards the end.
Spielberg has often been credited for bringing the child alive in the grown-up, the magic of childhood that endears you to his stories - whether it is about adventurers, monster-creatures or aliens. But, with BFG, he goes for a story that lacks enough villainy, enough wit and enough soul. That is probably the undoing. Better dialogues could have helped too!