After his success film animating the comic book series “Tintin”, Spielberg used the knowledge he acquired to tackle a bigger challenge in adapting Roald Dahl’s The Big Friendly Giant. The world is as engrossing as always, mixing digital and live action in an unobtrusive way that adds to the general ambience. In a way, he manages to tell a fairytale story that feels just right, neither too real nor too fictitious, and 3D viewing is a must, as the movie breathes and deepens with every puddle of water, street corner, alley and house. The added profundity from 3D means that viewers can almost peer inside the little intricacies of Spielberg’s universe in what can almost be considered a microcosm. Unfortunately, the child actor isn’t up to the task of transmitting or expressing emotions that feel authentic, and the plot becomes dull after the second half of the film. Sadly, this isn’t because of the movie per-se, but only because the BFG has a plot that doesn’t bode well in its transition from printed media to theatre.
Few films have had such an influence upon the commercial cinematic world as JAWS, establishing what would be later known as the summer “Blockbuster”. Even today, theaters worldwide follow a yearly distribution path established by this film, releasing their heavy-hitters midyear in the hopes that hype will attract big crowds and bigger profits. Even so, Spielberg’s contribution to the arts is made apparent with JAWS, as the simple small town story harkens a divisive theme of capitalist interests vs safety concerns, spelling a universal message from the beginning. The director’s use of the unknown as the ultimate medium for transmitting fear is flawless, not showing the main antagonist for most of the movie itself, while his strict depiction of likeable and unlikable characters helps audiences define who to root for, who to care for, and who to despise. Another aspect of significant importance in its institution as a symbol in the world of cinema comes from the masterful musical score created by John Williams. The depth of every melody has been crucial in the film’s transcendence as a cultural icon throughout the years, exemplified by its memorable main tune. On a final sad note, the excellence of JAWS as a cinematographic achievement and financial success has meant that sharks as a species have been shunted by the media and their reality moulded by public perception, transforming them into evil, menacing enemies of humankind. This, in turn, has seen the rapid decline of the species, while conservation efforts struggle to overturn the false image inadvertently created by the film. The conclusion, then, is of the immense responsibility that films have as transmitters of messages, and the huge influence those very messages have for the audiences that they cater (for better or worse).
Being a movie directed by Steven Spielberg, it shies away of the “romantic” ideal with which he usually portrays characters. In this case, Spielberg presents the facts in a linear way while dealing with few subplots, and shows audiences the main protagonist and problem he has to deal with (in a first instance feeling rushed in doing so). On the negative side, this means that some of the supporting cast feels bland, but particular characters shoulder this burden by performing on a superb scale. Specifically, the duet formed by Hanks and Mark Rylance (winner of Best Supporting Actor) feels just right, and the title of the film bodes well with each of their roles. Although the film itself is very long and sometimes slow, it clearly wants to tell a story throughout, with no digression or unnecessary diversions to awe audiences (ex: unnecessary subplots). The only negative point to remark is that there are no tension points in the film, and viewers constantly feel as if everything was always under control.