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BFG
September 4, 2016 | by  | in Film |
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The BFG

★★

Director: Steven Spielberg

 

It’s a mystery whether Steven Spielberg’s BFG will impress young audiences in the same way that his cinematic offerings to previous generations did. We can assess the commonalities that The BFG has with E.T., Hook, and Jurassic Parkthey’re all surreally good-looking surrealism—but The BFG is boring, and the rest aren’t. 

If you’re Roald Dahl illiterate, BFG abbreviates Big Friendly Giant. It’s a story about an orphan girl (Sophie) who is kidnapped by a friendly giant (BFG) who is in constant hostility with unfriendly giants, more ‘giant’ than he. The story was read to every class by every primary school teacher ever and, the more I think about it, the more I believe that no one is Roald Dahl illiterate and this paragraph is likely to be cut out by a Salient editor due to its complete irrelevance. 

I reiterate that the film is a bore, but only for the sequence. You’ve probably seen the trailer and noticed how good the visual effects are, providing the backbone of the film. Within Spielberg’s exceptionally creative and original interpretation of a Dahl universe, the animation presents us with real giants, real environments, and a real sense of danger. The voice acting complements the visual strengths, with Mark Rylace’s peculiar English accent carrying the BFG’s dialogue.

To justify why The BFG is boring: the sequences just take too long. Either you absorb all the visual spectacle long before the cut, or a joke is so frustratingly augmented and diluted that you wonder if the youngest of viewers will learn to cringe before they walk. Films based on the Dahl stories have always turned into classics. The global fandom would seem to make that an inevitability. If The BFG does make it on the list of classics, it will have to be content on being at the bottom.

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Newtown, between 1908-10. Photograph taken by Sydney Charles Smith. 1888-1972: Photographs of New Zealand. Courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library. 1/1-019663-G

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