It always surprises me how many stories of Roald Dahl’s I have not actually read. We have all seen many of the film versions of his stories but I have not taken the tire to read the tales that have become such beloved movies. This was no more obvious to me than the very long few moments that I sat and tried to work out what BFG stood for. Naturally, my mind went for the four letter words category for $400 truly never coming to the correct conclusion. The answer alluded me until one day someone mentioned it in passing and the lightbulb connected and my inner voice cautioned me to not say out loud what I thought it was all along. I don’t know where that voice is today but there is such a colourful title of one of Dahl’s other books that would be willing to support my initial theory. While the four letter word was my first choice I knew it was not the correct answer for the obvious fact that it was being created by Disney.
As many of you knew before me, our story is about a Big Friendly Giant. Our main character, Sophie, lives at an orphanage. From the beginning we can tell the she is smart, independent, and unique. I can’t know for sure because I have not read the book, but I like to think that the book goes into more detail about Sophie and the type of person she is. Sophie is played by Ruby Barnhill and whether her character matches the book or not I absolutely loved her in this role. Sophie is taken from the orphanage by a giant who she has seen lurking around at night. Because she now knows of their existence he tells her that she can never leave giant country, where he has taken her. He is certainly seen as a friendly giant when we are introduced to some of the other giants who go by names such as the Blood Bottler. Sophie, with the help of BFG and his dream skills, work up a plan to get rid of the giants with the help of the Queen of England.
The characters, the visual and that extra twist of all things Dahl create a magical setting for this charming story. Things are going so delightfully well until Sophie hatches this rather odd plan of getting the aid of the Queen of England to assist them in ridding the world of these bad giants. The film falls apart rather quickly from this point on including some absolutely ludicrous scenes made to make children laugh. I suppose you cannot really berate the film or story for doing what it had initially set out to do, it is a children’s story after all. Still, if the film only held on for a little longer I think it could have easily fit in with the other greats such as James and the Giant Peach, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches and of course Matilda. Sadly it doesn’t quite cut it making it a delightful escape, though one place I would rather not go as often as these other great titles.