The BFG DVD Review: Steven Spielberg Captures the Essence of Roald Dahl’s Story

The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) is based on the book by beloved children’s author Roald Dahl. It is the story of Sophie, who, after the death of her parents, is forced to live in a London orphanage. While the other orphans have no trouble sleeping, Sophie suffers from insomnia and spends her nights roaming the orphanage.

One night while Sophie is awake and looking out onto the empty streets of London, she encounters the BFG at work. His job is to deliver dreams to people while they sleep. Since Sophie sees the BFG, he decides that he needs to take her with him so that she does not tell others what she has seen and in turn reveal his identity to the world.

The BFG takes her away to the land of giants where Sophie is only a fraction of the size of her surroundings. While Sophie is scared at first, she comes to realize that her captor is not only a friendly giant but also the runt of the other giants. The BFG acts as her protector from the other mean and “bean-eating” giants who have a taste for human flesh.

Sophie begins to realize that the BFG cannot stand up to the other giants who constantly taunt and bully him. When the other giants threaten to destroy the dream-catching work of the BFG, Sophie becomes his protector and devises a plan to defeat the other giants. Through a mixture of magic and courage, Sophie and the BFG enlist the help of the Queen of England who then calls upon the leaders of the free world.

The BFG is directed by Steven Spielberg who went to great lengths during rehearsals and during the filmingto ensure that the actors could truly engage in the world the giants inhabit. In the DVD extras, Spielberg discusses that he had wanted to do this film for a long time, but wanted the technology to catch up with the story. This was such a brilliant move because through incredible technology and casting, he created a realistic and fantastical world that truly captured the essence of Roald Dahl’s story.

The screenplay for The BFG was written by the late Melissa Mathison. Spielberg had asked her to come aboard the project after years of being away from the industry. Mathison was known for her writing of E.T., The Indian in the Cupboard, and The Black Stallion. This beautiful script was her final project before her passing in 2015.

The BFG is an uplifting story of unlikely family, courage, magic, and the power of dreams. While the giants may be a bit scary to little children, the film is great for most all ages. I found myself truly immersed in the film and really believing in the land of the giants.


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Darcy Staniforth

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