…of Sophie and her Big Friendly Giant friend has proved a winner with children and adults alike.The task of creating a film version of the 1982 children’s classic was always going to be tricky, the success of the film relied on getting a perfect mix of magic and humour in to the film, whilst proving that it isn’t a carbon copy of the book.
For anyone who hasn’t read the book, the story focuses on Sophie (Barnhill), an orphan who is taken by the BFG after she spots him roaming the London streets at night near her orphanage. He takes her to his home, somewhere far up north in Giants Country. Sophie seemingly dislikes the BFG (Rylance) at first, demanding him to take her back to the orphanage in London. She poses too much of a risk to be taken back, so she is kept with the BFG. She soon comes to be befriend the giant, who is bullied by other giants and we see the gentle, kind and warm hearted giant that he is.
Spielberg chose wisely with rising star Ruby Barnhill, who plays Sophie. Barnhill adds the right amount of attitude and ‘sass’ to Sophie, something that doesn’t come through as much in the book. This is her first role on the big screen, with her only other professional role in the BBC children’s drama 4 O’Clock Club. Mark Rylance plays the big friendly giant and his performance is magical, he conveys the innocence and softness of the BFG perfectly.
Spielberg has kept the magic and innocence from the book, whilst adding some light humour. The film follows closely to the book, with some slight differences. Similar to Jon Favreau’s adaptation of The Jungle Book, The BFG has a slight dark twist to it compared to the sugary sweet book. Its PG rating is understandable as some parts can be a little scary for your little ones. The magical film is one of Spielberg’s finest.