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Movie Breakdown: Captain Fantastic

July 22, 2016

Film

Pre-Screening Stance:

Viggo Mortensen is an all-time favorite of mine, and he just so happens to be in Captain Fantastic.  This automatically means I’m excited to see it.  Granted, it certainly doesn’t hurt that the trailers have made it look like a quirky good time.  Also, I’m intrigued by the fact that Matt Ross (Gavin Belson from Silicon Valley) both directed and wrote the film.

Post-Screening Ramble:

It’ll be interesting to see how people react to Captain Fantastic.  The film follows Ben (played with spirit by Viggo Mortensen) and his pack of kiddos as they undertake a road trip in order to attend their mother’s funeral.  I suppose that sounds fairly normal, but what provides a bit of a twist is that Ben and his family live off the grid, deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest.  There the kids go through daily physical training sessions and they’re home-schooled on advanced subjects.  The whole lot of them seem rather well adjusted, very intelligent and happy, but as the film glides along you start to see that all isn’t well in the perfect world that Ben believes he has built for himself and his family.  His kids may be able to survive in the woods and have full-on philosophical discussions, but their social skills are poor, they’ve never had the chance to apply most of what they’ve learned, and they’re often in situations that the outside world considers unfit and/or dangerous for a child.  Should Ben and his family live how they do?  Should he put an end to it and place his family in society?  The film looks at both questions, and while I don’t really think it ever fully commits to saying yes or no to living on or off the grid, it does endearingly try to at least remind the world that regardless of whichever lifestyle you choose for yourself and your loved ones, flexibility is a must.  Now that’s a message I can get behind.

Go see Captain Fantastic.  It has heart and it’s funny.

One Last Thought:

As of now, Viggo doesn’t have any other films lined up, and that’s a damn shame.  Here’s hoping he doesn’t stay off the big screen for too long.

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