As a very well known children’s book, I was interested in seeing how the wonderful Big Friendly Giant by Roald Dahl was interpreted on the big screen. I remember a previous version of it, a cartoon that my son (around 6 years old at the time), loved and was keen to see this version.
This interpretation just blew me away. It is fabulous! Steven Spielberg has captured the magic and the quirkiness of the story beautifully, and the graphics are amazing. I thought the casting of the BFG by the Oscar winning actor Mark Rylance gave a clever mixture of kindness and naivety that was inspiring. The scenes with Queen Elizabeth 11 having tea with the BFG at Buckingham Palace are witty and cute, and reminded me so much of the nostalgia of the book. How easy it would be to deal with troubles in such a simple way…
The story is about young Sophie, an orphan who is whisked away in the middle of the night (“the witching hour”) to be transported to the land of the giants (somewhere north of Scotland). There, the friendship between Sophie and the BFG grows, as her initial concerns at her kidnapping, lead her to realise that he is just an old ‘softie’ at heart, a dream catcher. He has to deal with giants who are living just outside his door, giants who are larger than him,just as he is larger than Sophie.
And there, for me, lies the crux of the story; however or whomever we are scared of in life, there is always someone who has problems too. This is a powerful message for children to learn at a young age – always face your fears. Roald Dahl understood this beautifully with his story, and Spielberg has managed to convey it masterfully onto the big screen.