Spielberg makes Dahl’s The BFG a dream to watch


Ruby Barnhill and Mark Rylance in The BFG.
Ruby Barnhill and Mark Rylance in The BFG.

THE unlikely friendship between an orphan girl and a big friendly giant dreamt up by author Roald Dahl gets the Steven Spielberg treatment in this impressive big screen adaptation of the beloved book.

When the BFG (voiced by Mark Rylance) is caught walking the streets of London at night by lonely insomniac orphan Sophie (Ruby Barnhill), he scoops her up and takes her back to Giant Country so she does not spread the secret of his existence.

Once there, the two bond in his oversized home, where she learns about his work as a dream catcher and he must hide her from the bloodthirsty fellow giants that occupy the country.

There is a delightful sweetness about the relationship that develops between these two unlikely allies, as these two lonely misunderstood characters find they have more in common than they originally thought.

In true Spielberg style, this is about awing the audience with the realistic presentation of its otherworldly character and world building with the use of astounding CGI, as opposed to doing it with impossible stunts and grand action sequences.

Scenes between The BFG and Sophie play out mostly in real time, their conversations allowed to develop naturally and laced with nuance without hurried cuts to the next scene or plot set up.

Those with a short attention span may get fidgety with the gradual pacing, but it is hard not to be sucked into this detailed world.

The biggest surprise is Spielberg’s foray into flatulence humour, with a bit of cheeky low-brow humour (a farting Queen is possibly the most juvenile thing he has put to screen).

After the longest stretch of destruction-heavy CGI action films, The BFG proves it is possible to still be dazzled.

The BFG (PG)

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton

Four stars

Review by: Julian Wright

In cinemas now