Sensibly crafted, firmly grounded & radiating an immense sense of joy, warmth & wonderment that only a Spielberg film can provide with such effortless ease, The BFG is an enchanting, endearing & transporting fable that’s meant for and will mostly appeal to the young & easily entertained viewers but has some surprises in store for the grown-ups as well.
Based on Roald Dahl’s novel of the same name, The BFG tells the story of Sophie, a young orphan girl who is abducted by a giant after she sees him outside of her window during the witching hour, and is taken to his giant country. Trapped in an alien place yet happy to have gotten away from the orphanage, she decides to assist the big friendly guy in his endeavours and ultimately develops an amazing bond with him.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, The BFG marks his first stint at Walt Disney Pictures and the source material really benefits from his assured direction as the eminent filmmaker manages to bring this children’s story to life in a very down-to-earth manner yet with all the magical qualities embedded in it. Another striking feature is the absence of dark elements as Spielberg decides to keep things gleeful, optimistic & good-natured at all times.
The script is always focused on Sophie & her budding relationship with the elderly but kindhearted giant, and although the former is the heart of this picture, the latter is the soul. The set pieces are eye-pleasing by all means, refined to smallest of details, Camerawork is smooth, relaxed & smartly handled as per the scene requirements, Editing paces the plot with composure, while the ebullient score by John Williams seamlessly integrates into the narrative.
Visual effects in any Spielberg film is state-of-the-art stuff by default and The BFG is no exception as the film brims with some gorgeous, breathtaking & heartwarming display of visual wonders, one specific example being that Dream Country sequence. The Big Friendly Giant is portrayed by Mark Rylance through motion-capture and his calm demeanour really enhances the BFG’s innocent side. Ruby Barnhill is no slouch either and plays the role of the young orphan with comfort & confidence.
On an overall scale, The BFG is a sweet, affectionate & warmhearted present from Spielberg that’s going to enthral the kids and transport the rest of the viewers back to their childhood. While it isn’t amongst his finest films and lacks the lasting endurance of his most magical works as well, it’s still a heartfelt adventure that amuses & delights in sufficient amount. Offering an escape to wonderland with its healthy dose of family-friendly entertainment, The BFG is an exquisite example of restrained craftsmanship & elegant storytelling.