It seems like a lost cause to make a small movie on a tight budget, especially in Hollywood where one has the ability to make a trillion dollar blockbuster about superheroes filled with the greatest action stars the planet has to offer. Yet, Captain Fantastic shows that with a well-written script and first-class acting you can inject the same kind of stellar moviemaking endorphine in your audience!
And no, Captain Fantastic is not a Marvel superhero … he is a different kind of hero. He is a father of six.
What makes this movie easily the best movie of 2016?
It’s original. The wonderful story deals with a father of six who lives a quiet and sheltered life in the woods, far away from all life-consuming addictions such as money, power and virtually every single pandemic disease that has ripped mankind further and further away from their natural habitats.
Common things like videogames, fast food restaurants to even the weekly sermon in church on Sunday are all put to the test through the eyes of Viggo Mortensen‘s character Ben.
He does not believe in the emptiness of modern human lives. He believes with every bone in his body that he’s living the good life. He’s found himself a little paradise within the woods where his kids can play, study (oh yea, they do study!) and exercise daily workouts in both physical and mental challenges.
When his methods are scrutinized, he is quoted as saying that his kids are far superior in intellectual and practical manners. Basically this means his kids are much smarter and far more athletic than the average teenager wasting away in front of a videogame, sipping cold beverages.
With the disappearance of the kids’ mother, the movie takes a darker path.
But it’s precisely that sudden impact that shakes things up! Before the movie has a chance to become a boring Meryl Streep-drama, it ventures brilliantly into a golden marriage of sorrow and euphoria.
One moment you’ll find yourself overcome with grief, whereas the next moment you’ll end up laughing through those very same tears.
It’s absolutely, gobsmackingly amazing how this movie can survive on so many different levels of human emotion.
To bluntly show the things we’ve lost as a human race on account of our love for the cold, material world in which we live today – it’s a poetic tale of survival, discovery and the very fortitude to go out and become someone else.
I promise you one thing: you’ll never see a more beautiful film all year long.
And this one doesn’t need any special effects, giant explosions or monstrous creatures from other planets. All it does is show a realistic yet lighthearted story – though often penetrated with a slight sense of Thespian art – about a father and six children who leave behind their home in the woods, only to come in contact with our modern world of music, movies and so much more.
Some of the funniest scenes in the movie are the ones where the six odd children learn that there’s so much more than a wild life of living in the forest. Their lack of knowledge of things every normal child takes for granted is both beautiful yet surprisingly haunting to watch.
The term ‘freak’ is at least mentioned once, and it’s within these powerful emotional moments that the movie is lifted to a higher ground of filmmaking.
About the acting no words could be spoken enough.
You’d expect stellar work from crackerjacks Viggo Mortensen and Frank Langella – and right you are as their performances, much like most of their movies, are nothing short of stunning! – but the biggest surprise is how the younger generation is just as good, if not better.
You may not recognize any of the children from a movie or television show, but don’t let that fool you! These kids pop up like potatoes from the ground. It’s like they were born with a talent.
And that’s precisely the power of this movie!
Everything feels so natural you can’t stop wondering if there was any script at all. Perhaps the filmmaker – a wonderful job done by actor turned director Matt Ross – just yelled ‘action!’ and let the camera roll to capture the brilliance that is Captain Fantastic.
Go see this movie … NOW!!
Before you miss one of the most radiant jewels out there in America today!
Did you know?
At a screening in San Francisco, director Matt Ross revealed that over the course of filming, the group of children came to call Viggo Mortensen “Summer Dad”.
Give it to me short:
Captain Fantastic is the kind of story that will have you leave the cinema with a big Jack Nicholson-smile drawn across your face.
It’s strange that a drama, though a lighthearted one, should have such a positive impact on you … but it really does! The humor within the movie is well-hidden and often at times very subtle, but if you look closely enough, it’s really there. The drama that flows like a river through the script is present at all times, but beautifully interchanges with the softer side of the movie. It’s like having two halves of a story – one light and one dark – and they perfectly complete each other.
What makes this movie even better – and easily one of the finest ‘little’ American movies ever made! – is how the children are brought to life by some of the younger actors. The writing is beyond great in that you’ll find yourself laughing and crying at the same time (unless you have a heart of stone) from beginning to end.
Things never get really dark, thank God, but this movie never shies away from the simple fact that it IS a drama, period. The subtle jokes are there to keep things on a lighter side.
Even for lazy movie-watchers who enjoy their popcorn watching big, loud American Hollywood-blockbusters – this little jewel of a gemstone is one little movie you simply cannot miss. You’ll end up appreciating nature that much more. You’ll end up hating yourself at times for being a slave to the system. And you’ll wonder if we – the human race – haven’t already lost ourselves in the constant battle of greed, and the sickness we call human evolution.