Cert: PG Runtime: 116 mins Director: Steven Spielberg Cast: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Jermaine Clement, Penelope Wilton, Bill Hader, Rebecca Hall and Rafe Spall
It was the Witching Hour, when the Boogeyman comes out…
Roald Dahl captured my imagination as a child and got me into reading! Some of his books have been made into films, but some of them haven’t really captured the essence of his work! The BFG has come back to life, the animated movie was great as a child. But I did watch it recently and it wasn’t the best. Spielberg has been trying to make BFG for a long time. Finally I have seen it. So what is The BFG about? An orphan named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) finds herself snatched away from the orphanage one morning by a friendly giant she names the BFG (Mark Rylance). The BFG’s job is collect, catalogue and deliver pleasant dreams to children. Sophie joins him on his travels, except they are followed by a group of evil giants, who have an altogether more unpleasant plan for the sleeping kids. Together, Sophie and the BFG must save the children from becoming the giants’ next meal!
The magical world Dahl created is luscious on the big screen Spielberg uses a blend of real life footage and computer generated images. Although we’ve come a long way with CGI as a whole, the minor differences between images captured from the real world and those generated on a computer were just large enough that they were often times off-putting. Spielberg does do an amazing job to get the amount of times this happens to a minimum however by using certain techniques that make the real life footage seem more like computer generated ones rather than the other way around. That does not mean that the CGI in ‘The BFG’ was bad though, it’s because they were so good that these moments happened. In fact a few times the visuals were so stunning that it could make almost everyone’s jaw drop in amazement. Over the course of the movie it becomes quite noticeable that there is a problem with the pacing. Quite a few times this has the effect that scenes which were mesmerising at first drag on for too long, so long in fact that often times they will have overstayed their welcome. This is especially true for the few action scenes the movie has to offer.
The bad pacing also causes the story to fizzle out and what is left is a movie that gets a little bit boring after only half of it’s two hour running time.One of the movies redeeming factors however is the amazing acting by the aforementioned actor Mark Rylance who does a really good job at getting the viewer to care about this big and friendly giant. Another great performance is given by Ruby Barnhill who really shines as this little girl Sophie. Although there were a few moments where I think her acting felt a little bit off I am really curious where her career will go next. Together these two actors make the building friendship between their characters seem very believable and they are the reason the viewer will stay engrossed in the movies story.Overall the movie featured some amazing acting with stunning visuals, but sadly there is only so much that can be done to offset the bad pacing.