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  • Writer's pictureGuy Jeffries

Captain Fantastic Review

Director: Matt Ross

Actor Matt Ross, who is possibly recognisable from Face/Off, Aviator or American Psycho, writes and directs his second main feature about an isolated family living in the forests of the Pacific Northwest with Viggo Mortensen playing Dad, Ben, a free-spirited man who educated and trains his six children that might appear harsh and brutal at times.

As many might assume, the children would be neglected, malnourished and uneducated but the complete opposite comes clear as the story goes on. There's so many home truths from this movie, it made me feel like a hypocrite, and rightly so, in fact the brutal honesty that is displayed by Ben and his children is astonishing and inspiring. Yes, at times quite awkward but certainly makes you question society's way of life and thinking.

Their mother has sadly passed away and so they begin a quest to rescue her from those against her will, venturing into the 'real' world with Ben as their forever-sarcastic tour-guide and teacher. It's the conflicts with the rest of the family that really makes this ground-breaking and thought provoking. Is it really the right thing? What does it mean to actually be free? And what is today's society teaching our future?

The complete cast of children are amazing, each with their own characteristics, we quickly learn who's who and which direction they possibly want to go in. Passionate, rebellious, inquisitive, brave and loving are just a few of the attributes the children flair off. Bad Mom, Kathryn Hahn, Steve Zahn and Frank Langella play their parts brilliantly even if only brief when compared to the children and Viggo, but seeing the disapproval yet contradictory opinions is spell-binding.

Viggo appears to be one of those actors that chooses his roles very carefully and takes them personally, he makes them personal which is evident in his acting. I've been familiar with Viggo (doesn't seem right saying Mortensen) since Carlito's Way and his short but epic portrayal of Lucifer in The Prophesy, but I'm sure it's fair to say it was his Aragorn from Lord of the Rings that put his name up in lights, following with films such as Eastern Promises, The Road and A History Of Violence, all being amazing movies with thanks to him. This is no exception.

The music and score that accompany the film is on point, especially when the family sing and play together, giving a great sense of union and love that's heart-warming and touching. This being Alex Somers second main feature as composer, he delivers an ambient, dreamy score that's uplifting and peaceful.

It's beautifully filmed, well paced and quite unpredictable, loaded with shocking revelations and an incredibly script. A perfect drama for current times, an amazing piece of cinema from Matt Ross.

Running Time: 8

The Cast: 9

Performance: 9

Direction: 9

Story: 10

Script: 10

Creativity: 9

Soundtrack: 8

Job Description: 9

The Extra Bonus Point: 10 for being superbly fresh, daring and thought provoking, An education on real life values.

91% 9/10

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