If there was a way to describe ‘Captain Fantastic’; Sundance’s pick of the year, it would be both funny and bittersweet. It has to be a light-hearted spectacle about it that separates it from dramas of the past while being a charming comedy. In fact, director Matt Ross has also written a script that delves into the adventures of being in the wild while Viggo Mortensen takes control as a father trying to teach his children the way of life. It is also believed to be a wonderful experience to sit through as the family in this film tries to connect after a tragedy affects their lives.
I have never seen a movie quite like ‘Captain Fantastic’; it likes to tread where most movies dare to go. Don’t go into this movie expecting a tear-jerker of sadness, instead see it through the eyes of Mortensen as he explains to his character’s kids about sex, hunting, and the way of survival. I found myself in a bit of a joy while watching this movie, but its problem happens in the fact that its ending seems to go on for a long time without stopping, as bittersweet as it may be. The other problem comes from its inability to actually teach you more about his character’s wife, (Trin Miller) who is the main motive for keeping this story going in an emotional way.
It’s not the most emotional film that has hit the scene, but with the material that ‘Captain Fantastic’ works with, it tends to be a film worth looking into. Mortensen’s Ben does not shy away from heavy subjects when teaching his kids (George McKay, Samantha Isler, Annalise Basso, Shree Crooks, Nicholas Hamilton, and Charlie Shotwell) about how they should live. It does, however, prove to be a lot for his father-in-law (Frank Langella), sister (Kathryn Hahn) and brother-in-law (Steve Zahn) who all think he’s nuts and unfit to be a father with his survival skills and brutal honesty. If I could tell you any more about this comedy-drama, it would be that it is not as great as Sundance claims it to be; it does tend to feature a great Viggo Mortensen performance.