I'm just back from the cinema seeing The BFG so what better time to write a review of it?
During the summer holidays our local cinema shows two films; one for adults in the evening and a kids film as the matinee. It's brilliant because normally we get one film a week so you can be waiting several weeks to see the latest blockbuster when several big films come out around the same time. It's also a bit of a bummer when you're basically adult children like me and Mr Click because you're seriously limited on the days when you can go to the cinema.
Thank goodness for Saturdays.
I was a little bit wary about seeing this film because for me, I grew up with Sophie and the BFG looking like this:
Rather than this:
But then again, in the original Quentin Blake illustrations Sophie had long hair so I can't really complain too much.
I thought it was really well done, with a nice touch of magic about it. Personally I would have liked to have gotten to know a little more about The BFG. His house is filled with little bits and pieces which he's obviously collected from the human world; everything from a ship, which he uses as a bed, to a road sign, which is used as a tray. I can't wait until we get it on blu-ray so I can examine all the scenes in greater detail.
There were some departures from the book as well. I felt like Sophie was pretty tough right from the start, whereas in the book I think she takes a little longer to come out of her shell. She also didn't get to see one of the giants eating a child. On the one hand, this film was aiming more for whimsy than for horror, but it still always seemed like a fairly important part of the book.
I did sort of fall in love with the character of Sophie. The orphanage didn't seem as horrible as in the book (for one thing she was able to wander around at night without getting into trouble), but you still got the impression that it was definitely somewhere she didn't belong.
I liked the idea that Sophie wasn't the first child who had come home with The BFG; it's worth noting that apparently when Dahl first started writing the story it was a boy called Jody who was taken. I can't help but wonder if perhaps that little addition was a nod to the history of the novel.
My absolute favourite part of the film has to have been the dream catching sequence. I wasn't entirely sure how I was expecting it to look but I knew that if it wasn't right it would spoil the film. They got it spot on.
This is definitely where dreams come from and somewhere I would love to visit! The way that they are 'born' on the leaves and then take on their own little characteristics is pure magic. In fact, I wish we could've spent a little more time learning about dreams and what can happen in them. We got to see labels on jars but I'd have loved to see more.
As for the non-friendly giants, well, I'll admit, I wasn't really sure who was who, though I'm sure it'd become clearer on repeated viewings. I couldn't help but notice that one of the guys who played a drunk right at the very beginning of the film also doubled up as a giant later on. Closer investigation (read: playing on IMBD.com in between writing this review) shows that this was the case for most of the giants.
I know that this film hasn't done as well in the cinemas as was hoped, mainly because it was doing battle against Finding Dory. I can't help but wonder if it might have done better being released later in the year, perhaps in the run up to Christmas and definitely not going head to head with what's certain to be a big Disney blockbuster.
I'm definitely keen to get this one on blu-ray when it's released, and I'm looking forward to seeing lots of behind the scenes goodies about how it was made; especially The BFG's home!