Dienstag, 6. September 2016


Title: Captain Fantastic
Running Time: 118 min
Director: Matt Ross
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, George MacKay, Samantha Isler, Annalise Basso, Nicholas Hamilton, Shree Crooks, Charlie Shotwell, Kathryn Hahn, Steve Zahn, Frank Langella

Viggo Mortensen could have been a glamorous Hollywood celebrity. When the then 41 year old Danish-American replaced Stuart Townsend last-minute in a little trilogy called "The Lord of the Rings" he showed the world what a fantastic actor he was and all of Tinseltown's doors suddenly stood open for him. It seemed however that Mortensen didn't want to become that kind of movie star as he continuously turned down big blockbuster roles. Since his last appearance as Aragorn in "Return of the King" the man has played the leadrole in only above a hand full of movies, all of which got very limited media attention, but had one thing in common: Viggo on the top of his game. So whenever the guy finally decides to flex his acting muscles once more, you are almost obliged to watch it, since you never know when you will get to experience his prowess again.
"Captain Fantastic" joins the ranks of Mortensen's outstanding works, but is enchanting enough that it satisfies even beyond his brilliant performance. It is the story of a man, Ben, that brings up his kids in the woods, shielding them from what he thinks is a reprobate society, teaching them to survive in the wild as well as to understand the complex nexus of the world through studying books of different humanists and philosophers. When his wife passes away and his father-in-law denies him attendance to the funeral, the whole family jumps into their rusty tour bus to go there anyway. However this of course constitutes the first time Ben's children come into contact with the "normal" world. Complication are bound to occur.
Accordingly to its premise the movie has a lot of that charmingly innocent kind of humor where characters encounter a world that is so different from their own. It is one of the reasons the first Thor movie worked so well for example, and it made me laugh out loud multiple times. Wrapped under the funny bits however is a critical look at our society that really gets you thinking. But unlike some more radical indie flicks, the film doesn't hit you over the head with its message. On the contrary, the strength of "Captain Fantastic" lies in the fact that it shines light on multiple sides of the story. Of course our main character is made to be sympathetic as we mainly follow his path, but more than once his worldviews are reasonably questioned by other characters in the film, and every now and then he even comes across as a little too full of himself, holding on to believes that seem somewhat irresponsible. The perfect world he thought he built is not perfect after all, but it isn't all bad either. The exploration of this realization makes the film an interesting character study and so this family's physical and psychological journey gives the film its more than solid framework. The performances are great across the board and at one point the child-actors play a rendition of a Guns'n'Roses song that keeps running on repeat on my soundsystem since I first heard it. Unsurprisingly though, Mortensen stands out with a lot of heart and genuineness. Finally the cinematography tops the movie off to a perfect cinematic experience as you will get beautiful nature shots as well as some accentuated visual comedy.
To people who are not into that kind of indie stuff or already sighed when reading the premise, this film might still come across as obnoxious. But if you are open for it and found the idea of the film even just a little intriguing then "Captain Fantastic" can take you on an engaging trip that will stick with you for days after watching it. Funny, clever, surprising, charming, thought-provoking and heartwarming: This movie gets a definite recommendation!
For Fans Of: 
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Into The Wild (2007)
Lost In Translation (2003)

Click Here To Watch Trailer!

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