Captain Fantastic tells the story of a father devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent.
This film really made me question why I liked Viggo Mortensen as an actor in the first place. Maybe it was with my intense like of the Lord of the Rings films and novels as I was growing up and his character of Aragon but even if this wasn’t the case, and I didn’t like or even know Mortensen as an actor, Captain Fantastic was one of the strangest and most dislikable films that tried so hard to be liked.
It could’ve done with about twenty minutes of cutting as the film, by then, descended into madness and almost utter disrespect if it didn’t already commit such atrocities in the first place. It intially had a great idea to begin with, and that trailer reviewed it quite well along with a few trusted friends who gave their recommendations but I couldn’t be opposite enough. I wanted to like it with all of my being but every next step in the film, it made me despise it even more.
There were two major things that really bothered me about the film: the first was the line said by one of the younger children, “We don’t hate anyone, except for Christians.” Isn’t that a bit contradictory? You don’t have to be a Christian or of any faith to just respects someone else’s choice of beliefs. The second thing that bothered me was the fact Mortensen’s character lead his merry band of children into the graveyard of where their mother // his wife was buried to fulfil her wishes of being cremated. Even if you do or don’t find that disrespectful, it got a bit plain ridiculous and should’ve ended with the father leaving his children at his wife’s parents and if there was any more necessary story to wrap up, it could’ve centred around there.
Either way, I found myself utterly disappointed by Captain Fantastic. I’m not sure if it was a mixture of the film not living up to the hype that surrounded the film or just completely disagreeing with some major views of the father (though there were many that I did agree with, despite how he raised the children). It was a definite struggle to get through and I’m surprised I didn’t leave when a friend of mine did with twenty minutes left to go or even earlier at the unnecessary nudity displayed by Mortensen. I’m not ashamed to admit that I did, in fact, throw up a little in my mouth. It’s one thing I don’t get about films these days – the constant display of not only nudity and excessive sex (in which Captain Fantastic thankfully didn’t have) but also an overload of gore like with the killing of the deer at the beginning of the film. I honestly don’t kknow what it is but I found myself immediately leaving the cinema after the conclusion of the film, not being able to get out of there quick enough, and wondering on the journey home why I ended up so disappointed in a film that looked like it had so much promise.