Monday, 9 January 2017

Captain Fantastic

We all hold some contradicting positions. Yours truly may be scared of global warming and I might point at it as a looming danger, but I will still drive my car and fly around the globe in a jet. I may complain against our consumer driven society, but I am also an active member. Well, Captain Fantastic is a movie about a character that, unlike you and I, is determined to follow its convictions through and do do all the right things.
Ben (Vigo Mortensen) is the father of several children whom he raises, hunter gatherer style, at a remote and secluded from civilisation hideaway. Ruling the day there are all the things we know but often ignore in the name of social practicality: religion is bullshit, the truth matters above all, power to the people, etc. His kids are all olympian grade athletes, having to fend for themselves in everything; they are also extremely smart, with Ben curating them with the best books humanity could offer instead of the commercial TV and the Insta that dominate the lives of their peers. Yet it is clear they lack in real world smarts.
Which matters once they are taken into the real world, on a journey to attend the funeral of their recently deceased mother. That journey takes them across (?) the USA and has them interacting with police, “normal” kids their age, and their “normal” grandparents. Who will give and who will win? Will conformist+consumerist American society win this family, too, or will our gang manage to preserve its Swiss Family Robinson lifestyle?
Captain Fantastic has its ups and downs, and sometimes it sags while other times the improbable happens. I can and I will forgive most of those issues, though, in the face of its attempt to answer a question that has been troubling me for decades.
Overall: An interesting attempt to answer an important question. Despite its failure at the answers department, Captain Fantastic is worth 3.5 out of 5 crabs.

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