May 16, 2016

    Not all fall under the spell of Spielberg's retelling of BFG


    STEVEN Spielberg said he still believes in magic as he premiered his whizzpopping,

    swizzfiggling BFG (Big Friendly Giant) on Saturday, to a mixed reception from critics.

    Both adult "human beans" and "chiddlers" - children in the often befuddled giant's vocabulary - were eagerly awaiting his film adaptation of Roald Dahl's beloved story, in the director's first movie for Disney.

    Spielberg described the fantastical tale of a giant who snatches a frightened young Sophie from an orphanage and takes her to live with him in Giant Country as "probably the closest I have ever come to telling a love story". Sophie quickly realises the giant is a gentle vegetarian who tries to save her from the "canny-ball" giants with names like Bloodbottler and Fleshlumpeater.

    "All of us have to believe in magic. The worse the world gets, the more magic we have to believe in," Spielberg told reporters after a press screening of the film.

    The Guardian hailed the performance of Mark Rylance - who starred in Spielberg's last film Bridge Of Spies - as the gentle giant, in the "beautifully wrought" adaptation.

    And Variety said the "splendid... adaptation makes it possible for audiences of all ages to wrap their heads around one of the unlikeliest friendships in cinema history, resulting in the sort of instant family classic 'human beans' once relied upon Disney to deliver."

    However, others struggled to wake their inner child, with The Wrap website saying it "misses the magic".

    The Hollywood Reporter meanwhile said BFG was a "conspicuously less captivating, magical and transporting experience" than Spielberg's much-loved 1982 film E.T.