I have never read the original book, ‘The BFG’, by Roald Dahl. In fact this has been the first time in my life I ever heard of the story. When I saw the trailer I was surprised to see the merger of Spielberg and Disney. I wasn’t even sure if I was ever going to see the movie, but I did and I was pleasantly surprised. The film opens on a quaint, visually rich London that exists only in books and movies. A London I would be happy to be an orphan in. We get a small glimpse into the life of our heroine, the orphan Sophie. She’s a smart girl who falls outside the lines of the others. I like her already. When the Friendly Giant makes his appearance, it’s almost surreal how seamless he fits into the world and it makes you really think this could be a thing. He cleverly hides in the shadows and between buildings. His skill with his subterfuge shows he’s been at this for a looooong time. When Sophie witnesses him, he snatches her away and whisks her to ‘Giant Country’ and a new world opens up before her. She, along with us, sees amazing things in this new world that feels as familiar as our own. It all seems great until the other, larger, giants make themselves known and they aren’t quite as friendly as The BFG. Now it’s up to Sophie and The BFG to figure out a way to get be free of their torment.
The visuals of this movie sets a new benchmark in CGI. The marriage of reality and effect is so seamless, it is impossible to be taken out of the story even when the most amazing things happen. I particularly enjoyed the scene when Sophie and The BFG go ‘dreamcatching’. It’s a magical, beautiful moment that you can lose yourself in and gives a strong and poetic visual to the concept of dreams. The film is heavily layered with compelling themes of loneliness and friendship. For adults, it could be hard to get into at first, but once you get past the funny words which seem to be a Dahl trademark and get into the story, you won’t be sorry.
The Audience: All right, nothing against the film, but we did see the presentation in what is called ‘Sensory Friendly’ mode. They keep the lights on about halfway which gave my friend a headache halfway through the film and it seemed to attract the worst kind of theater goers. A couple in particular sitting one seat away from me were very irksome. The husband was constantly checking his phone and despite the lights being on, the light from his cell phone was still quite distracting. They were also talking and he kept putting his feet up on the seat in front of him, which I find particularly loathsome.Come on! Were you raised in a barn? Thankfully they left after half an hour but there were others in the theater who seemed to think just because the lights were up gave them free reign to be as obnoxious as they could manage. I have to say avoid ‘Sensory Friendly’ shows because they may be friends to the senses, but not to the audience.