We’ve read Roald Dahl’s The BFG several times; it’s become one of those true classics. It’s a book that we will revisit time and time again, because it is beautiful, magical and so incredibly hopeful.
Today we took the plunge and went to see the newly reinvented movie version. I’m not gonna lie. I did feel a bit like I was betraying David Jason. But I thought I’d give it a chance, because the book is so full of magic and wonder, how could Hollywood go wrong?
In more ways than one, is my answer…
The film started out with a deep sense of anticipation. We obviously wanted to meet the BFG, in fact we literally fidgeted our way through until he arrived on the screen. But before this, we’re introduced to Sophie. Sweet, intelligent, geeky (just my stereotypical opinon- yes, the glasses!) Sophie… Immediately I felt nothing for her.
I think the casting was completely off with Sophie. There was no real charm there, no sense of a girl full of wonder. She verged on irritating. Apologies, I do not think it was her fault, rather the fault of the casting department, film makers and writers that completely destroyed a classic.
Anyway, we finally meet the giant. And, in the words of Columbia from RHPS, ‘he’s okay…’. The CGI is good, not amazing, but good, he is clumsy and pigeon toed, he’s full of expression and has such kind eyes… BUT there were times when he seemed to lose track of who he was meant to be. He seemed a bit lost compared to the book (or the original film animation) and he was WAY too small to fit Sophie in his ears- a key point of the original plot. This made me so sad.
I went with it though, and some parts were magical. The evil mean giants were wonderful, they were grizzly and their CGI felt spot on!
I won’t lie, I cried now and again at the BFG’s beauty, his words and little speeches but mostly the music; it was beautiful. The dream catching was perfectly created, yet the change of plot/scenes felt irritating. The snozzcumber and giant scene was off, the punishment of the giants was off and the ending was so off I could scream – I’ll come to this soon!
So, we have an odd BFG, odd as in a little creepy when he says, ‘Look at you in your nighteeee’ or odd when they have their little ‘needs must’ in joke to fudge the script. Urgh. So, back to the storyline.
It felt forced, disjointed… suddenly we find out the BFG had another child friend, suddenly we see this side of him but it’s never explained, so what’s the point?! And IT ISN’T IN THE BOOK!
Anyway, I’m going to move on. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but I do need to vent about the ending. Basically, it’s not the same as the book.
And this makes me mad.
The book showed us how to find love in unusual places, it showed us loyalty, it showed us how to be humble and not greedy, it showed us magic and beauty and all that’s in between. I turned to Warren towards the end and said, ‘I’m going to cry at the end…’ but I didn’t.
The ending has changed. The ending has change for the worst. It now says, go for the ‘norm’, go for the money, go for the life that’s easier and more comfortable and turn your back on the one person who always had your back…
Well, Spielberg… I once had your back. But not anymore. Not anymore.