Name of Album: The B.F.G – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Composer: John Willams
Date Released: 2016
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On Friday I finally got the chance to sit down and watch Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Roald Dahls The B.F.G. (Big Friendly Giant) and I’d been looking forward to sitting and watching this film for a couple of reasons. First it’s Stephen Spielberg, second the cast, especially the fantastic Mark Rylance and the third and final reason is the score, by the maestro himself John Williams.
I’ve been listening to the soundtrack for a few months now and it’s classic John Williams. There are familiar sounding motifs that hark back to his previous works especially Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but this for me isn’t a bad thing. It gives the soundtrack a familiar feeling, like meeting up with a friend you haven’t seen for while and there is no “getting to know each other again” time.
My overriding feeling is that this is a busy and playful soundtrack. There is a lot of movement across the instruments, whether it be the dancing woodwinds spread throughout the album signifying the dreams that zip around, or the fast paced To Giant Country cue; where the B.F.G is bounding across the countryside with Sophie suspended in a bed sheet.
This busyness is tempered with some more subtle moments and the cue Building Trust highlights this perfectly, with a slow and delicate build with woodwinds and a harp mirroring the two main characters not un-natural distrust of each other. The cue slowly builds though with strings and brass replacing the woodwinds and harp showing how the relationship between Sophie and the B.F.G is getting stronger.
The villains of the film are the other giants, who refer to the B.F.G as “runt” do to his smaller stature. The giants in the B.F.G we’re always my favourite villains in the Roald Dahl books, and their names always fired my imagination, the Blood Bottler, Fleshlumpeater, Maid Masher and so on. The cue Fleshlumpeater is the only one one that is directly for these grotesque monsters and it’s clumsy sounding brass reminds me very much of the brass used in Return of the Jedi for Jabba the Hutt and his palace.
All in all the B.F.G is a soundtrack that wraps around you like a well worn blanket, it doesn’t tax the brain but it’s movement and orchestration provides some highlights for the listener. A favourite cue of mine is Dream Jars, with it’s question and answer style and playful feel.
If you like this soundtrack why not try more by John Williams:
- Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (2001) by John Williams
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) by John Williams
- Hook The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1991) by John Williams
- The Adventures of Tintin (2011) by John Williams
The film it’s self is visually stunning with the dream catching a particular highlight, one visual that really caught my attention was when the camera focuses on Fleshlumpeater’s eye and it turns red with a silhouette of the B.F.G appearing. Apparently this visual of the B.F.G was taken from the 1989 animated version.
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For a look at the full cast and crew visit IMDB