Captain Fantastic

"Excellent"

Captain Fantastic Review


An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some very deep topics without flinching. It's essentially an impassioned plea to snap out of the way people in the West have been sleepwalking into consumerism and complacency. Viewers who believe that things are just fine will probably be troubled (or angered) by this movie, but those willing to think and have their beliefs challenged will find it entertaining and invigorating.

It opens in the American northwest, where Ben (Viggo Mortensen) is raising his six kids in the middle of a forest, teaching them to use their minds and bodies to think and survive. His wife is ill in hospital, and when she dies the kids insist on attending her funeral, even though her parents (Frank Langella and Ann Dowd) ask Ben not to come. So they pile into the family bus and head across country, stopping to visit Ben's sister and brother-in-law (Kathryn Hahn and Steve Zahn). This encounter and others along the road demonstrate just how far advanced Ben's children are, although they're not terribly well equipped to interact with general society. Eldest son Bodevan (George MacKay) has been accepted into all of the top universities, but hasn't a clue how to talk to a girl. And middle son Rellian (Nicholas Hamilton) is beginning to question the Bohemian lifestyle.

This is a fascinating exploration of a group of children whose upbringing has given them razor-sharp minds, leading them to political beliefs that are far outside the mainstream. The unsubtle connection is that the majority of the public are manipulated by corporate interests that put money ahead of everything else. Actor-turned-filmmaker Matt Ross smartly explores this theme from every angle, which makes the film easy to engage with. And it helps that the driving force of the plot is the emotional desire to say goodbye to a wife and mother.

Mortensen is perfectly cast as the zen-master father whose honesty gets him into trouble. And MacKay also shines as the thoughtful, perceptive Bodevan. As his siblings, Hamilton, Samantha Isler, Annalise Basso, Shree Crooks and Charlie Shotwell each has something to add to the mix. And Langella also stands out in a role that could have easily been a simplistic villain, but becomes refreshingly nuanced.

With continual references to Chomsky and Trotsky, this is a film aimed at a more educated audience. But it's ideas aren't lofty: this is the resonant story of two men struggling to understand their places in the world. So even if the film sometimes seems to scream its political views, it's actually a remarkably involving, emotional journey.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for Captain Fantastic:



Captain Fantastic

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 118 mins

In Theaters: Friday 29th July 2016

Box Office USA: $174,265.00

Distributed by: Electric City Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 79%
Fresh: 93 Rotten: 24

IMDB: 8.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Monica Levinson, Jamie Patricof, Shivani Rawat, Lynette Howell Taylor

Starring: as Ben, as Harper, as Dave, as Bodevan, as Abigail, as Vespyr, as Karin, as Ellen, Samantha Isler as Kielyr, Shree Crooks as Zaja, as Rellian, Alan Humphreys as Funeral Mourner, Elena Stecca as Diner Patron, Charlie Shotwell as Nai, Trin Miller as Leslie, Elijah Stevenson as Justin, Teddy Van Ee as Jackson, Hannah Horton as Teenage Girl, Galen Osier as Small Store Owner, Thomas Brophy as Grocery Store Manager, Louis Hobson as Doctor, Mike Miller as Priest, Hafid Abdelmoula as Funeral Driver, Paul Alan Amend as Pallbearer, Yolanda Aragon as Shocked Funeral Mourner, Richard Beal as Society Funeral Mourner, Angela Francia as Shocked Funeral Mourner, Cliff Gravel as Funeral Mourner

Also starring:

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