Directed by: Matt Ross
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, George MacKay, Sami Isler, Annalise Basso, Nicholas Hamilton, Shree Crooks, Charlie Shotwell, Frank Langella
Runtime: 119 min
Ben (Viggo Mortensen) is a father of six children, who all live in a forest completely isolated from civilization. He teaches them not only to survive but everything one would learn in school and more (much more), transforming them into extraordinary kids.
After something horrible hits the family, they need to leave their perfect home and go back to lead with society, which makes Ben rethink everything he taught them and a captivating and unexpected story develops from here.
Captain Fantastic definitely caught me by surprise. It wasn't on my initial list of "movies to watch" of 2016, but when it came out it got so many positive reviews that I had to add it to my watch list.
The cast is brilliant: Mortensen makes his run for an Oscar, he's so compelling and captivating, I was totally into his character. Ben is able to make me cry and laugh at the same time, as well as most of this film ... It's either super funny or terribly sad with its constant twists. Once again, the cast is absolutely pitch-perfect, but besides Viggo Mortensen I have to congratulate Shree Crooks (Zaja) and Charlie Shotwell (Nai). These are the youngest of the children and they are at the same amazing level that Millie Bobby Brown is at Stranger Things. I still can't believe how realistic they are in their appearances, even if only for brief moments. Everyone else is great as well and each of the kids gets their own scene to shine!
The story is so thought-provoking that challenges the audience to understand everyone's perspective on life. Who we think are the bad guys, actually might be the good ones and vice-versa. Ben and his children have a very different life because of all the society's stereotypes and overall problems that they don't have while living isolated in a forest ... However, the civilization's point of view is that a bunch of hippies decided to quit life and live on their own with no social interaction whatsoever, which doesn't exactly prepare his kids for their future. It's a brave and massively interesting plot that keeps our eyes and ears glued to the screen.
My only issue with this movie is the ending. Without spoiling anything, it felt a little disappointing having in mind everything that I experienced with the film and the family. I think Matt Ross was trying to follow this one path, but near the end, decided to change it drastically.
Still, Captain Fantastic is one of my favorite movies of 2016! It delivers a beautiful message, it has a delightful cast, with Viggo Mortensen stepping up his game and an adventure-full story that still manages to end on a very bright note.