Thoughts on Captain Fantastic (2016)

SPOILERS

Click more to see Viggo Mortensen’s penis …

Haha – made you click! But if you go and see the movie, you will see Viggo in all his glorious full frontal nudity! “It’s just a penis, all men have one!” …

Firstly – who named this movie? To anyone who decide their movie choices based purely on title, would think this is one of the superhero nature. But they would be so wrong.

The film centers around Ben, played by Viggo Mortensen, as he deals with the death of his wife while trying to raise his six children. When Ben’s father in law forbids him to attend the funeral, he and the children choose to “stick it to the man”, hope in the family van and go on a road trip out of the woods and into the city. It’s a little like Little Miss Sunshine, in that sense – although, no provocative child dancing. You see, the family live in the woods and only head into town to sell their home made goods, check their mail and pick up any needed items. It’s a little like Little Miss Sunshine, as the family travels by bus to attend the funeral.

While in the city, Ben comes to realise the good and the bad ways he has been raising his children, and how this has affected them socially and educationally. It’s a look into doing what you believe is right – and what others believe is right. It’s also a look into social pressures, growing up, believing you’re invincible and/or above the law, and a look into the lives of how different families live. I also believe it’s a look into how our educational system is failing us – but that’s a whole nother issue.

But where Ben is honest with his children – even bluntly telling his seven year old about sex when she asks (“but that’s where she pees from,” she says, with a look of disgust) – his sister scolds when Ben bluntly tells her children that his wife killed herself, while he openingly and honestly broke the news to his children that way. Knowing how much research Viggo puts into a role, I can only imagine how much he did for this role – especially the opening of the family killing a deer in the woods.

While the story deals with so much sadness, there is moments of joy and happiness. It’s a look at life – although, most families would not have been raised in the woods, it’s completely relatable. It’s indie. It’s artsy. It’s funny. It’s feel-good. It’s drama at its best. And it certainly one of the best movies I’ve seen this year!

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