Reviews: The BFG

Sweet and simple.

This film was one I was very interested in, since any Dahl adaptation is worth a look, and I wanted to know how this one fared.

In terms of spirit, I think it's got it pretty much down. There's a definite sense of magic and wonder to even the mundane scenes, and the visuals are just amazing. It's a very colorful film, which is always welcome these days, and the effects are pretty nice. There are also some brilliant elaborations on the magical concepts in the book. My favorite concept is probably the visualization of the dreams, which are amorphous but briefly take on images of their contents. To this effect, the design of the BFG's horn is also very clever to provide a more whimsical aspect to the dream-blowing process.

The story does make some changes, however, and some of them are good. Sophie feels like a much stronger, more developed character, but in some places, I find this makes her relationship with the BFG less tender and sweet than it should be. There are a couple of action sequences which are actually really nice and relatively low-key, because the heroes only use really inventive stealth (also featured in the human world on dream jobs) and it's not intrusive. However, a couple of scenes feel a bit like padding. There's some backstory to the BFG, which is nice, but at the same time, also makes their relationship a bit rockier. I do love the overall quiet tone to the movie; it's more about the characters and the actual situation than what really happens within those. The comedy at the palace exemplifies this calmer mood and the atmosphere. It feels like it's really trying to be its own thing, but there are still quota-ish hallmarks of a traditional story that jar a little with it despite their expedience at getting them checked off the list. Go on, guys. You do you.

In all, it's a charming film that's visually inventive and beautiful. It's relatively inoffensive and likely not to be seen as one of the great Dahl movies, but it's a nice watch.
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