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Flash Movie Review: The BFG

Nestled in a comfy bed or cushy lap were the ideal places to listen to a story being read out loud. Hearing a voice for each character in the story made them come alive and no matter how scary or dangerous any of them were, one always felt safe with the adult in the room who was reading the book. Any place around the world would appear crystal clear as if you were right there. This held true even if the place was from a fantasy story. I can still remember hearing about flying cars, a phantom tollbooth, a giant peach and thousands or maybe millions of other worldly and unworldly objects and people. Why is it I can recall most of the children books I read or had read to me when I was a kid but some of the things I currently read will slowly drift out to sea in my brain? Having books read to me before I could read was a fundamental element to my development into appreciating a good book. I truly feel every child should have the opportunity to become familiar with books and be taught how to read them. Hopefully this will not sound as if I am prejudiced, but I get a feeling of sadness when someone tells me they do not read. The ability to read the written word nurtures part of our mind, letting it grow and expand to make room for more knowledge. Now back to the question in hand; I am not complaining, but I am perplexed I can remember the children stories from my youth. Is it the subject, the fanciful characters or the realization one is not alone; that creates a bond with the reader/listener? I do not have the answer but am ever so grateful I have had the experience. It goes without saying as an adult now I can appreciate when a classic children’s story is made into a movie like this one that is based on the children’s book by Roald Dahl (Matilda, Fantastic Mr. Fox).   LOOKING out the window of the orphanage Sophie, played by newcomer Ruby Barnhill), was shocked to see a giant in the street. The giant, played by Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies, The Other Boleyn Girl), was just as surprised and could only think of one thing to do. The beginning of this adventure fantasy was magical and charming; I felt I was going to watch something special. The special effects were wonderful; Steven Spielberg’s (Jaws, Schindler’s List) direction was familiar and ideal for the way he can tell a story. But something happened as the movie moved forward and the focus turned from Ruby and the giant to another story line. The magic somewhat disappeared for me, though I thought the actress who played Ruby was terrific. Overall I am glad I saw this family film and feel younger children may not enjoy it as much as the age group that would be able to read the Roald’s book on their own. There was a point during the movie where I had wished I had my blanket, a glass of warm milk and a plate of cookies as I leaned back in my reclining theater seat.

 

2 ¾ stars     

 

 

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