Roald Dhal’s classic film hits the big screen with a brand new adaptation from the genius that is Steven Speilberg. The BFG was one of the very first books I learnt to read and one of the very first books I fell in love with.
Growing up we didn’t just have the book though we had a wonderful cartoon adaption which brought the Big Friendly Giant and Sophie to life.
Now we have a new BFG and its bound to be magical right?
I loved the movie I think is the most important thing to remember but it wasn’t the BFG. Sure the story plodded along in the similar fashion. Sophie is still a orphange who gets kidnapped by a giant. That giant is still the runt of Giant Country. He still goes dream hunting and speaks weird. But Speilberg in putting his mark on the movie also took the charm away from it.
What I don’t get is the BFG, as with most Dhal books, don’t need to be meddled with. They were full of magic on their own. The books don’t look like much, specially when you grow up, but there is enough in just one of those books to fill a movie without messing around with it.
The biggest failure?
The BFG himself.
It took a good 40 odd minutes when they finally get to Dream Country for the BFG to tell Sophie that people call him the Big Friendly Giant. Or at least SOMEONE. Up until that point not one thing the giant really did WAS too friendly. He was a grumpy old man, mean spirited, prone to arguing with her in a not so friendly way. He didn’t bother to feed her, make her a dress or even ask her name. Then to top it all off, the most uncharacteristic and silly part of the movie, he gives her a nightmare to try and convince her not to leave.
Then there were moments like in Dream Country where it just went to enhance the story. It was more of what you wanted, a magical representation of something that you’ve dreamt about since you were a kid. Seeing Sophie chase after dreams and the BFG actually being happy was absolutely amazing.
I just felt they tried to add too much and humanize the giants. Instead of just making the giants evil beings that were eating kids they had to be funny and more human looking. The giants were meant to be things of nightmares which is why the BFG was so important and special but especially with the BFG being so grumpy it just felt soft.
Plus I can’t be the only one that was a little miffed that they stopped Sophie being so special? In the book she was the first and only child the BFG ever snatched and even though it was just part of the story it kind of made me feel special as a kid reading Roald Dahl books and seeing little girls being the centre of attention. To have the BFG being taught how to read by a little boy who was there before Sophie just kind of took some of the magic away for me. I’m not that kind of person that moans about female representation but it was always a magic part of my childhood and seeing the little boy having been there first and that special relationship the BFG had with Sophie made a little less special was a bit heartbreaking to be honest.
Overall it was a great film but it had many problems that just makes me not want to watch it again.