Film Review by Jon E Clist
Ten-year-old Sophie is in for the adventure of a lifetime when she meets the Big Friendly Giant. 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.
There is something rather dangerous about the prospect of a cinematic version of such a childhood favourite as Roald Dahl’s The BFG. This was one of the first chapter books I owned. In fact, somewhere I have a first edition hardcover. This would stand out as my favourite kids book of all time and therefore I guess in the back of mind there was a little trepidation at the thought of this adaptation. However, that is certainly mellowed out a little when you see who is at the helm. Spielberg hasn’t really ever let us down and has adapted some great literature over the years.
It is interesting to note that this film has been in development for nearly 25 years. Considering it was first release by Roald Dahl in 1982, that is a long time for film makers to try to get traction on it. However, I can certainly understand that like many kids book adaptations, this could have been a horrid film if not made with the level of CGI technology that we have today. Here we have a film that is so wonderfully ethereal and visually appealing. (Bear in mind that there was an animated version released in 1989 but certainly not to the same extent as this version)
Anyway, let’s get into it. This is a brilliant film so full to the brim of wonderful dialogue and crazy characters that you can’t help but love and a few that you certainly find a distaste for. One of which is wonderfully voiced by our very own Jemaine Clement. How cool to have a little kiwi connection in this dazzling story.
I think that the script has been so well put together in order to pay the ultimate tribute to the wonderful writing of Roald Dahl. The BFG marks the reunion of director Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Melissa Mathison, following their celebrated collaboration on E.T. and as this was the final film written by her before her death in 2015 it has been dedicated to her as a tribute.
Weird Note: Steven Spielberg tried to convince Gene Wilder to make an appearance in the film, but Wilder declined. Wilder played the titular character in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), also based on a Roald Dahl book.
My favourite scene in the film revolves around Fizzpoppers and the Queen… I will just leave it there and let you discover it for yourself. Seeing this version reminded me of some of the wonderfully descriptive and inventive words that Dahl created for this story and just how magical is the language of the title character.
A magical and thoroughly awesome trip to a world that my childhood inhabited with one of the most amazing characters of all time, The BFG. This is a must see for the adults and please please introduce this to your kids and then read them every Roald Dahl book…
Releases: 7th July 2016
Duration: 118 minutes
Duration: 118 minutes
Starring: Mark Rylance, Bill Hader, Jemaine Clement, Penelope Wilton & Rebecca Hall
Director: Steven Spielberg (ET, Saving Private Ryan)
John Williams will be back to do the music score for The BFG (2016). Spielberg and Williams had not worked together on Spielberg's previous movie "Bridge of Spies (2015)". Only two times in 42 years have they not worked together.
This is the second adaptation of a Roald Dahl novel to be distributed by Walt Disney Pictures; the first was James and the Giant Peach (1996).
In 2009, DreamWorks Pictures entered into a long term, 30-picture negotiation with The Walt Disney Company, which the films will be released through Disney's Touchstone Pictures banner. While The BFG (2016) was originally going to be distributed through Touchstone, Disney decided to join production as a co-producer and co-financier, and switched the film to a Walt Disney Pictures release instead, citing on the original story's magic and heart-warming appeal. DreamWorks Pictures is not to be confused with the more well-known DreamWorks Animation; the two were formerly sister companies until they split in 2004 while retaining the rights to share the name and logo. As such, to avoid viewer confusion, the DreamWorks name and logo will not be credited on release prints and on ads; instead they will be replaced by those of Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment.
The BFG (2016) marks the first time in his fifty years as a filmmaker that Steven Spielberg has directed a full-length motion picture for Walt Disney Pictures.
Originally the film was to be produced by Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy in 1991 by Paramount Pictures, with husband and wife screenwriters Robin Swicord and Nicholas Kazan on board and Robin Williams in mind for the title role.
This is the second adaptation of Roald Dahl's "The Big Friendly Giant", after The BFG (1989)
One of the leading characters of both the book and this film, Sophie was named after one of Roald Dahl's granddaughters.