Viggo Mortensen blew me away portraying Ben Cash, a father of six who decided to raise his family outside of the USA consumerism grid. With the support of his wife, a privileged law graduate from the Pacific North West, he builds a self sustainable wild community near her home city for their children. Together they homeschool and train their progeny in the ways of the world, teaching them about the evils of capitalism and fascism, hoping to give them enough skills to recognize and in a way defend themselves from tyrannical government rule. The resonance of the subject matter with the times is two fold: First, the movie portrays how much healthier and enlightening life can be when living in nature – with the right tools. Second, it shows the ills of modern society, the greed of those with power, and how difficult it is to overthrow authority without influence.
Even though the children embody the best we can become when we become educated and remain fit physically and mentally, the problem of being outcasts is revealed early on in the narrative. Without interactions with the real world the kids aren’t free to make their own choices or to find their own truths. Yes, they are trained as soldiers should, to a point, but without a cause, there is nothing worth fighting for. Enter the plot twist that starts their journey to save their mother which requires that they incur into society and test out their mettle. One by one the siblings, with the tutelage of their father, figure out what they are made of, while trying to remain cohesive.
Captain Fantastic is an awesome story about how we need to conquer our fears and strengthen our resolve and will power to do the right thing and remain true to our beliefs. Falling in love with this clan is so easy once you get to know their motivations. Truly and amazing quest fit for the times. Watch it and then tell me if the Academy Award Nominatiom for Best Actor, 2017 for Viggo wasn’t dead on. The cast already swept the SAGs. 🙂