Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Two tickets to the pre-screening of Captain Fantastic were given in exchange for an honest review.
I will be honest and admit that when I was invited to screen Captain Fantastic I didn’t ever actually see the trailer prior to the movie. I had no idea what to expect and no preconceived notions about what I was to see.
What a wonderful surprise when this movie opened with the most serene, most beautiful scene of a forest stream in the Pacific Northwest. The story continues to unfold as we become introduced to the characters and plot. In a nutshell, a man raises his family in a remote forest away from any mainstream society. We watch how they survive, learn, and grow before a family tragedy forces them to leave their world and journey back into civilization. Obvious trials come into play as the family adjusts to urban living.
The father, Ben Cash (played by Viggo Mortensen) has very well-thought-out “trainings” for his children. Strenuous physical training, extensive literature, music and knowing how to survive from the land are all integrated in their everyday lives. Very different from that we “city folk” may be used to. One of my favorite scenes in this movie is when the family is driving on a freeway and comes into a very populated city. Where they are used to a vast forest of conifers, they soon encounter a jungle of retail…Target, Kohls, McDonalds bombards their view for miles. They stare in awe as they take in the noise of cars, the vastness of strip malls, and the experience of video games.
For a while you can’t help be onboard Team Ben and ready to move your family into the deep forests of the Northwest. We see how well developed these children are, from their musicality to their ability to provide intelligent arguments to current politics. However, once the children begin to encounter and converse with “the real world”, we quickly see the downfalls that forest life can bring. Ben’s parenting comes into question and quickly we can see the struggle as he is only trying to do what is best for his kids but no longer sure of what that might be.
As a parent this movie had me question my own style of parenting and consider other alternatives. As a member of society this movie made me take a step back and realize what kind of world we have created/accepted, and how we can better our world for the sake of our children. As a woman, it made me swoon as we see a beautiful Viggo Mortensen (and a little more than we bargained for!). I laughed with the witty writing, I cried with the touching struggles and family moments. I questioned my own beliefs and I left this movie feeling completely in awe. This movie absolutely lives up to its name…Fantastic!