Film No. 52 (2016) August 20th. 11.00 PM LUNA Leederville.
"Unless it comes out of a book, I don't know anything" (Bo, George McKay) convinces his father of where his future lies).
Viggo Mortensen is very discerning about which roles present the type of challenges he is seeking. One would have to say his choices over recent years have been winners. A History of Violence remains one of my "go to" films for repeat viewing, simply due to the credibility Viggo brings to his Tom Stall character. In Captain Fantastic Viggo plays Ben, who is another father of substance and no less captivating.
Captain Fantastic however is more than just another Mortensen vehicle. The condemnation of modern American society by Ben and the unconventional life he leads with his kids while living in the forest of the Pacific North West are Captain Fantastic's biggest virtues. We are talking Swiss Family Robinson without the vacuousness of Disney. "Why are people so fat?" is a question the youngest of the tribe asks after they venture down from their home to the "real world".
Ben and wife Leslie (Trin Miller) have adopted buddhism as their philosophy for family life as they eek out their existence in the forest. We meet the family minus Lesley who is in care on the other side if the country (near to her family) as she deals with mental illness. Ben receives the tragic news he's been dreading in the film's first stanza. This sparks the drama and gives us a less conventional way of understanding the real, unreserved love Ben and Leslie have nurtured within their unit.
But finally the real entertainment in Captain Fantastic comes from some of its set piece scenes. Ben's youngest asks him what sexual intercourse is; Ben's explanation leaves nothing to be desired. Bo's proposal scene in a trailer park while on the road is also enlightening. These scenes win our hearts and remind us as parents that maybe, just maybe, we should take calculated risks to exemplify real learning as we bring our kids up in a corporate driven society. 11GUMS.