Film Review: The BFG

In association with the Grosvenor


When I was very young, my mum gave me a heap of Roald Dahl stories to read. The old favourites are still there: Matilda; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; George’s Marvellous Medicine.

But there was one more I always went back to, a book originally belonging to my granddad. It lay there, a yellow dog-eared paperback, a story of dreams and London and loneliness and Giant Country: The BFG.

So, when I first heard that The BFG was going to become a big blockbuster film, I had that usual worry that it wouldn’t capture that childhood feeling of wonder, that escapism I felt when first reading of Sophie and ‘the witching hour.’

Mark Rylance as the magnificent BFG soon melted my worries away, however. It’s an odd thing to try and describe how someone can instantly look and sound exactly like how you imagined a fictional character to be, but that’s what he did for me. As soon as he said the words “human beans” in that endearingly confused way, I knew he was the BFG for me.  

I was also pleased with Penelope Wilton’s suitably Downton Abbey-esque portrayal of the Queen. She earnestly played a straight-faced part throughout her delightfully fanciful plot.

Yes, admittedly, there were still some jokes that dragged a little. But you have to remember that this is at heart a story for children. The kids in the cinema were well entertained, giggling away at the numerous ‘fropscottle’ and ‘whizzpopper’ jokes.

And Ruby Barnhill is a very suitable choice for Sophie. She fits well as the lonely orphan in this fairy-tale like vision of London, giving just enough sombreness when the moment calls it, but never losing her adventurous spirit.

As an adaptation of Dahl’s story, it does what it should do best: focus on the relationship between the BFG and Sophie. Add to that some spectacular visual effects that bring to life Giant Country and the BFG’s enchanting dream jars, and you have yourself one scrumdiddlyumptious recipe for success!

[Jenna Burns – @Jenna_221b]

The BFG Dream Jar Trail is the concept that the BFG has left dream jars around the city of London. Celebrities including Stephen Hawking and Roald Dahl illustrator Quentin Blake have contributed their own ‘dreams’ for the dream jar. The trail ends on August 31st and all Dream Jars will then be auctioned. All money raised will go to Save the Children and Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity.

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