The BFG

July 3, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Posted in 2016 | Leave a comment
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◊ ◊ ◊ ½

After my trilogy of films-most-people-will-never-see, I had decided to review something a bit more mainstream. Though, judging by this weekend’s box office, it would appear that this one won’t be much seen, either. What a shame; it truly is a delight. Hewing closely to the Roald Dahl book that it is based on, The BFG tells the story of a young orphan girl who gets captured by and befriends a Big Friendly Giant (yeah, that’s not the first “F” that came to my mind, either). He teaches her about dream catching and they fend off some evil giants with the help of the Queen of England. It is very much a Roald Dahl story from start to finish, full of whimsy, absurdity, wordplay and silly humor. And (remarkably, for my 2nd movie in a row) it has a running fart gag. This is light, easy stuff. I doubt there is enough drama to scare a modern 5 year old. Nor is there any real character development or a deeper meaning to the story. This is simple, easy-going fun. It would probably not be enough to recommend if it weren’t for the BFG, himself. As a combination of cutting-edge CGI and Mark Ryland’s acting, the giant was an astonishing and moving work of art. Ryland, who has a storied career as a stage actor, had a variety of small film roles until he was launched to stardom after his Oscar win for “Bridge of Spies.” I was enthralled by his giant, who was (by far) the most alive CGI character I have ever seen. He was so expressive and Ryland filled him with such a sense of joy and wonder that I was swept up. The story did not matter, as long as I could watch that giant fill the screen. Rarely has a single character mattered so much. See this film because it is light and fun and silly escapism. See this film because it is a joyous way to spend two hours. But, mostly, see it for that Big F’ing Giant.

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