What if there really were a land of giants? I’m not talking about tall NBA players, but real-live giants. In the new fictional fantasy-genre family movie, The BFG, based on the book by British novelist Roald Dahl (who authored Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, among others), we get to see our world collide with theirs.
According to a movie site, The BFG tells of “ten-year-old Sophie (who) is in for the adventure of a lifetime when she meets the Big Friendly Giant. Naturally scared at first, the young girl soon realizes that the 24-foot behemoth is actually quite gentle and charming. As their friendship grows, Sophie’s presence attracts the unwanted attention of Bloodbottler, Fleshlumpeater and other giants. After traveling to London, Sophie and the BFG must convince Queen Victoria to help them get rid of all the bad giants once and for all.”
The young girl who plays “Sophie” is charming and convincing. The actor who played the “Big Friendly Giant” was superb as well, as was “Queen Victoria.” I am a fan of British culture, so there were several scenes and moments throughout that made me glad. The best aspects of the movie is that it shows good versus evil in absolute terms instead of relative terms. We also get to see a lot of character development in “Sophie” and “the BFG.” With some twists and turns throughout, the movie has a heart-warming ending.
Some of the giants could possibly frighten young children. There is talk of kidnapping, at several points. While it’s mostly a clean movie, there is an extended scene that relies on “bathroom humor.” Christian parents must also be sure their kids know what parts are pure make-believe.
We do not hear mention of God in The BFG. There is a great deal of talk about dreams, and the “BFG” himself delves into dream manipulation and making. Always his intensions are for good, not harm, in “dream making.” Parents could take the opportunity to talk about, in Christian theology, what dreams are and are not. They also could use it as a springboard to talk about how the Lord God used dreams in Bible times.
Stories about giants typically do better in books than in movies, such as Gulliver’s Travels. Yet The BFG comes as close as any I have seen of showing the power and presence of what giants would be like (not that they’re real). The movie was slow in parts, and people—especially children—who get bored easily in movies may not appreciate this one. The BFG is by no means an instant classic, but it is a unique, neat story that was well done on the silver screen.
Rating: 2.75 out of 4 stars
Photo credit: Disney