A giant achieve­ment

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES - Leigh Paatsch


Di­rec­tor: Steven Spiel­berg Star­ring: Mark Ry­lance, Ruby Barn­hill, Pene­lope Wil­ton, Je­maine Cle­ment, Re­becca Hall, Bill Hader. Ver­dict: Liv­ing it large ON pedi­gree alone, The BFG ami­ably stomps to the front of the queue for all younger view­ers this school hol­i­days.

The source ma­te­rial is a bril­liant book by cel­e­brated au­thor Roald Dahl (Charlie & the Choco­late Fac­tory).

The great Steven Spiel­berg di­rects, from a script by the late Melissa Mathi­son (screenwriter of Spiel­berg’s all-time clas­sic E.T. the Ex­tra-Ter­res­trial).

The vis­ual ef­fects tech­nol­ogy that blends an im­pos­ing range of man­moun­tains with reg­u­lar-sized peo­ple is truly spell­bind­ing.

Oh, and just to guar­an­tee the tar­get au­di­ence will have them­selves a blast, The BFG also fea­tures what could come to be re­garded as the great­est fart scene (set in­side Buck­ing­ham Palace!) ever com­mit­ted to film.

The ti­tle char­ac­ter, played by re­cent Bridge of Spies Os­car-win­ner Mark Ry­lance, answers to the name of Big Friendly Giant.

How­ever, his best friend, a young Bri­tish or­phan named So­phie (Ruby Barn­hill), reck­ons BFG is the speed­ier, more con­ve­nient way to ad­dress this 20m be­he­moth.

Don’t be too in­tim­i­dated by BFG’s height. He is ac­tu­ally con­sid­ered a runt by his fel­low gi­ants.

BFG is also re­garded as a com­plete out­sider among his own kind, and re­lent­lessly bul­lied on ac­count of his strictly ve­gan diet. All the other gi­ants main­tain their strength by snack­ing on “hu­man beans” (Dahl’s rich and rogu­ish slang-uage is de­light­fully to the fore through­out the movie).

Not BFG. He has too much of an affin­ity with lit­tle peo­ple like you and me. In fact, his favourite pas­time is de­liv­er­ing specif­i­cally tai­lored dreams to men, women and chil­dren.

BFG cap­tures the dreams on daily hunt­ing ex­pe­di­tions, then creeps into Lon­don each evening to gen­tly place th­ese vi­sions in­side the minds of the sleep­ing.

It is while mak­ing his de­liv­ery rounds one evening that BFG first makes the ac­quain­tance of young So­phie, an in­quis­i­tive and fear­less child who can soon han­dle her­self in the wilds of Giant Coun­try very well in­deed.

The mo­tion-cap­ture wiz­ardry that breathes real and warm life into the giant char­ac­ters of The BFG is never less than a won­der to be­hold.

Hav­ing an ac­tor of the re­fined cal­i­bre of Ry­lance lend­ing his like­ness to a touch­ing and ad­mirable read­ing of the ti­tle char­ac­ter is a vi­tal added bonus (as is the ster­ling sup­port work of young Barn­hill, who ap­plies just the right touches of pre­co­cious­ness and poignancy as re­quired).

And let’s not for­get the sur­real hi­lar­ity that en­sues when that soonto-be-in­fa­mous fart scene blows up in the fi­nal act.

Spiel­berg hasn’t un­leashed this much fire­power on­screen since the D-Day land­ing se­quence in Sav­ing Pri­vate Ryan.

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