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Times of India
Sophie (Ruby Barnhill), a clever and curious 10-year-old orphan finds herself in the strange company of a giant dream-catcher, who she fondly calls the BFG (a brilliant Mark Rylance as the Big Friendly Giant). Unlike the other monstrous giants, BFG does not eat 'human beans' (read human beings). The two lonely souls bond over their mutual liking for adventures and form an unexpected friendship. But can Sophie be safe in the Giant Country?
In BFG's lingo, if I were to describe my first thoughts on watching this beautiful fairytale, I'd say, "I IS HAPPY". Steven Spielberg, the master storyteller weaves his magic once again and transports you to a world of fantasy that pleases the child in you. An enchanting tale on a chance companionship between an unlikely pairing has never been so riveting.
A tad melancholic, Spielberg's dreamy adaptation of the 1982 children's classic by Roald Dahl, stirs up emotions. Unhurried and peaceful, his film seems like a soothing lullaby that calms your senses. Like the central characters, who find happiness in others' sweet dreams, the sheer joy on Sophie and her giant friend's face make you happy.
Though shot beautifully on a magnificent scale, there's much more to the film than its 3D visual imagery, live-action and motion-capture wizardry. The human feelings surpass technology. Mark Rylance's performance exudes longing and innocence. His sad gaze and gentle demeanour tugs at your heartstrings, drawing you close to him, just like Sophie. Ruby Barnhill is equally adorable as the smart girl who corrects the giant's English. Their banter is entertaining. The climax is another highlight. The royal track lends that much needed pace to the proceedings.
This heartwarming tale of friendship stays true to Spielberg's standard of excellence and vivid imagination. He manages to recreate the E.T magic, thanks to a similar moving storyline and an endearing background score. The kids will love it and so will you.
(Amitabh Bachchan, Parineeti Chopra and Gulshan Grover have lent their voices to the dubbed version of the film in Hindi)
The Big Friendly Giant has been in development for almost twenty-five years.
This is the first time in his fifty years as a filmmaker that Steven Spielberg has directed a full-length motion picture for Walt Disney Pictures.
Reportedly, Ruby Barnhill's salary for this movie was US $85,000.
The film was made and released about thirty-four years after its source novel of the same name by Roald Dahl had been first published in 1982.
A young girl called Sophie lives in an orphanage in London. She stays up at night due to insomnia. On one such she sees an elderly giant outside her window. The giant captures her and takes her to his Giant Country in order to keep the existence of his kind a secret. After learning that she has insomnia and cannot dream, he manages to put her to sleep. He gives her a nightmare about she trying to escape and being eaten by a giant while doing so. She stays back.
When Sophie wakes up the leader of the man-eating giants called the Fleshlumpeater, he enters the BFG's home and smells a human. Sophie hides in a vegetable called a snozzcumber. On remembering that he never eats vegetables, the cruel giant throws the snozzcumber down and leaves.
The BFG gives Sophie new clothes and has a strange reaction to her finding a red jacket. He puts Sophie in a treehouse and leaves to capture dreams in bottles. Sophie convinces BFG to take her to his Dream Country - but as they leave, they accidentally wake up the man-eating giants. They throw the BFG around and bully him. Sophie tells the BFG that he should not allow the other giants to treat him that way. The two reach the Dream Country and catch a dream each: a good dream about Sophie and a nightmare about committing unforgivable crimes. The two then head to London to spread good dreams to sleeping children. While doing so, Sophie realises that she has lost her blanket. The BFG figures that the blanket will draw the man-eating Giants to Sophie and thus decides to drop her at the orphanage.
BFG recalls that the last human child he took and raised was discovered and eaten by the other giants. Sophie refuses to stay back at the orphanage and accomplices BFG back to the Giant country.
Sophie finds the home of the last human to live with the BFG. She leaves his jacket on his bed and finds a portrait of Queen Victoria amongst his belongings. From this she devises a plan to forge a nightmare and give it to the Queen. The nightmare consists of giants eating the children of England, the British Army fighting the giants, and Sophie appearing on her windowsill. They head to the palace where upon waking from her nightmare, the Queen finds the BFG and Sophie outside the palace. They inform the Queen and her servants Mary and Mr. Tibbs that the child-eating beasts in her dream are indeed real and must be stopped before they cause any harm to her subjects. After a large breakfast they all enjoy, The Queen soon dispatches soldiers to Giant Country.
The giants are all trapped on an isolated island where numerous crates of snozzcumber seeds are left with them much to their anger
Sophie begins living in the Queen's palace upon Mary adopting her while the BFG returns to Giant Country where he begins growing a wide variety of vegetables inspired by his time in England.