DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg LEAD CAST: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, Jermaine Clement, Rebecca Hall, Rafe Spall, Bill Hader PRODUCER: Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, Sam Mercer SCREENWRITER: Melissa Mathison BASED ON: The BFG by Roald Dahl MUSIC: John Williams CINEMATOGRAPHY: Janusz Kamiński EDITOR: Michael Kahn GENRE: Fantasy Adventure PRODUCTION COMPANY: Walt Disney Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, Reliance Entertainment, Walden Media, The Kennedy/Marshall Company DISTRIBUTOR: Walt Disney Studios, Motion PicturesCOUNTRY: United States LANGUAGE: English RUNNING TIME: 117 minutes
Technical assessment: 3.5
Moral assessment: 3
CINEMA rating: PG13
MTRCB Rating: G
Based on the classic story by Roald Dahl, the film is set in England during 1980s. Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) is an orphan who has trouble sleeping early so she spends most of her nights wandering the halls of the orphanage where she lives. One late night, she spots a giant outside her window, lurking in the streets of London. Trouble begins when the giant sees her too, and kidnaps her. He takes her with him to a place called Giant Country so she won't be able to tell others of his existence. Sophie could be in danger but it turns out that this giant (Mark Rylance) is actually an outcast among his kind. Aside from being the smallest among them, he is the only one who does not eat humans, children in particular. As days pass by, Sophie and the Big Friendly Giant become friends, and so she urges him, helps him make a way to stand up against the other violent giants.
The BFG is a faithful adaptation of the classic written story. With that, the film captures the real charm, heart and soul of the original. The audiences are taken into the world of the unfamiliar— the dark and the hidden world of giants—that seem all real. This is the kind of story that would make one believe the unreal with its realistic rendition of an unknown territory told from the point of view of someone coming from the familiar reality. Spielberg once again showcases his knack for merging the real and unreal and comes up with something that is unbelievably believable. Heartwarming performances by the lead casts, Mark Rylance and Ruby Barnhill complement the stunning visuals. Although there may be parts in the film that feel slow moving to the climax, The BFG is still a delight to watch given the film and the story’s inherent magical charm.The premise of something considered to be dark and evil but actually good if humans would only have the courage to explore is already worth pondering. Most often, those that do not fall to the perceived standards of good—like mainly physical attributes, visible characteristics, and material descriptions—are already perceived as bad or evil. God made not only light but darkness as well. So darkness is not in itself evil although most people grow up believing it is so. Sophie also thought the same way until she met the gentle giant whose self-appointed work is collecting people’s dreams. And yes, giants can be gentle too. If not for Sophie’s courage, and had she not given the BFG a chance, she would not be able to see the giant’s goodness—and the real evil that surrounds him. Although Sophie is an orphan, at a very young age, she has a clear grasp of love and friendship. The innate goodness of human beings or other beings for that matter lies in the mysterious concept of love that brings about genuine friendship. Such friendship illustrated in the film brought about courage to fight evil. So in the end, love wins, goodness prevails over evil. This is one film that would teach children to love tenderly and befriend others genuinely, that it takes courage to defend what is right, and that courage can be fueled by love and friendship. However, the concept of other world and evil may be still be a little too much for the very young so CINEMA encourages parents to accompany their children 13 years old and below in watching this film.