I Kill Giants
Based on the graphic novel by Joe Kelly and JM Ken, I Kill Giants is a magical coming-of-age fantasy adventure that follows teenage girl Barbara (Madison Wolfe) as she delves into a mystical world of her own invention, where she protects her small coastal town from giants in order to escape from her troubled home and school life. However, with the help of her new friend Sophia (Sydney Wade) and the school psychiatrist (Zoe Saldana), the heroine begins to realise that there’s more to the giants than she initially believed.
With an imaginative premise framing a poignant tale of acceptance, the film is utterly delightful. This is largely down to a stellar female-led cast who bring so much depth to I Kill Giants. Young Wolfe, especially, gives an outstanding performance well beyond her years; she lends her quirky character so much personality and likeability that it’s virtually impossible not to find yourself sucked into her larger-than-life reveries. Likewise, the supporting roles of Imogen Poots (who plays Barbara’s older sister) and Saldana demonstrate how talented these actresses are. Though never taking away from the spotlight of the 15-year-old lead, these stars breathe more humanity into an already very human tale.
Produced by Harry Potter director Christopher Columbus, the film holds much of the same magic. Through engaging cinematography, director Anders Walter captures the childlike wonderment of the protagonist’s imagination to bring the enchantment and horrors of her fantasy world to life. Sound design also plays a key role in exploring Barbara’s character: both whimsical score and eerie whispers of monsters help to establish the dreamlike realm, but the genius lies in words we hear in passing and – in some cases – what we don’t hear.
When all the pieces finally come together in the end, they reveal a poignant yet inspirational message about what it means to live, which shines new meaning onto prior events. Whilst the ending wouldn’t have been as effective if information were unveiled earlier, one can’t help wondering if perhaps there could have been more done to address the feature’s themes throughout – rather than waiting until the final conclusion.
Fronted by an incredible female cast and full of personality, I Kill Giants is a wonderous, transformative story of adolescence that tells a powerful message in an uplifting way. All the pieces were there that would have enabled this to be something truly special; it’s disappointing, then, that they weren’t used to their full potential.
I Kill Giants is released nationwide on 6th April 2018.
Watch the trailer for I Kill Giants here: