Captain Fantastic is one of those unexpected movies. Along the lines of Little Miss Sunshine and Garden State, it is truly special. It surprises us. It makes us appreciate and question life at the same time. Indeed, there are great wonders that have been brought on by our evolving times. Is technology really better for us? It has become one of the fundamental controversies and it leads to other really important questions. What kind of parents do we want to be? Raising children in the 21st century might not be more difficult in itself but it comes with uncertainty on security and education for example. As a kid, I didn’t have to worry about safety, I could play outside all day long. I didn’t care about television time, we only had three channels to choose from. We have become addicted to technology. Is it making us dumb?
Is a wild life a better life?
Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen) and his wife Leslie made the decision to raise their six children in the wild. No school, no technology but a rigorous daily physical and mental training. They are taught how to survive and most importantly how to think critically. Ben is dedicated. The education of his kids is the priority. They coexist with nature and it seems to be working until Leslie suddenly dies. The funeral will happen but not in the jungle. Ben decides to take his children out to the real world for the first time. How will they cope? His decision will be questioned and we will all wonder which is the best life.
Harper: Ben, you sound so ridiculous.
Ben: Is knowing how to set a broken bone or how to treat a severe burn ridiculous? Knowing how to navigate by the stars in total darkness, that’s ridiculous? How to identify edible plants, how to make clothes from animal skins, how to survive in the forest with nothing but a knife? That’s ridiculous to you?
Simply a beautiful movie.
At the end of the day, no matter what our beliefs are, Captain Fantastic is unarguably a great movie. It has humour and heart. Viggo Mortensen performs magnificently. He was the perfect actor for the role. It is the same with all the kids.
The title is a bit misleading however. With all the Marvel and DC comics translated to the screen recently, one might believe it is about yet another super-hero. This story is about the worlds greatest dad and that is his only super power. Irresistible.