Captain Fantastic (2016)

Captain Fantastic Movie Review…………………………………………………………………

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic is a 2016 drama film directed by Matt Ross and starring Viggo Mortensen. It is one of the year’s finest movies.

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If you assume that there is no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope.

If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom,

that there are opportunities to change things,

then there is a possibility that you can contribute to making a better world.

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Captain Fantastic Movie Review…………………………………………………………………

I absolutely loved this movie as I am fascinated by this subject matter. It is about a family who are forced to reintegrate into society after living in the wild for a decade. I admired the film’s richness in terms of the themes as it deals with a lot of interesting issues. Of course you have the conflict at the center which is wilderness versus civilization and this film actually explores it much better than most similar films did up to this point. I was fascinated by its various discussions and it really painted a picture that is grey instead of black and white and that is exactly the case with civilization and its various advantages and flaws.

But I also strongly admired the conflict of the father and how the film perfectly explores what it means to be a parent and how fathers can be too possessive and not realize that that isn’t the best for their children. Really well done. The character development is truly terrific in Captain Fantastic with Ben being such a deeply sympathetic and relatable, yet problematic figure. I also really liked all of the kids and all of the family members were also very well utilized.

Of course Viggo Mortensen is the standout actor here. I really have a problem with critics hailing his performance and overlooking the greatness of the entire film, but you can’t deny that he gave one of the year’s finest performances and he caught me off guard as I didn’t know he had it in him. Some of those emotional scenes he sold entirely through a terrific performance. But all of the others are great too. The child actors are very good here, but Frank Langella and Kathryn Hahn delivered expectedly strong performances.

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Captain Fantastic Movie Review…………………………………………………………………

Captain Fantastic surprised me with its quality as I didn’t see it coming as the film’s title is so bad and frustrating as is its poster. But the film is excellent and truly one of the year’s best dramas which are also very well crafted technically speaking. The direction from Matt Ross isn’t the greatest, but for a young director, he did a really good job and he made a film that was somewhat personal for him into a universal tale.

The cinematography is great and the film looks splendid. The editing I found to be fantastic as not one scene is redundant here and the film is long, but it earns its long running time as this story is very layered and deep. It is an emotional film and very heartbreaking at times, but I just loved its immensely happy ending as that was refreshing in this case. It seemed that it was going for a tragic ending, but thankfully it didn’t and I just loved that it ended in the best way possible for all of them as I cared for these characters a lot. The dialogue in this movie is absolutely phenomenal and many of its lines are very thought-provoking and great conversion starters.

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Captain Fantastic Movie Review…………………………………………………………………

The only problem the film has is its anti-Christian approach. That really frustrated me. I am okay with those statements as I am also not Christian myself, but if they’re done in a respectful, clever manner. But here unfortunately it sometimes turned into pure hatred for the group and its customs with a very angry and aggressive tone to it. Very disappointing. But other than that, the film is fantastic in every other way.

With phenomenal, thought-provoking dialogue, a story that is emotionally deep and thematically very rich and clever, very well developed and very likable characters and a wonderfully happy ending, Captain Fantastic truly is one of the year’s finest drama films. Its anti-Christian statements were way too aggressive and angry in tone, but other than that, the movie is so relatable, smart and so well made that it fascinated me and moved me at the same time.

My Rating – 4.5

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Posted in 2010s, 2016, Drama, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS and tagged , , , , , .

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