MOVIE REVIEW: Captain Fantastic (2016)

Directed by Matt Ross

A surprise rather that Captain Fantastic arrives in Philippine cinemas, almost no promotion before its release but it’s a little gem that everyone should see (well, if you’re old enough).

The film is about Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen), and his family. He and his wife has six kids. Sounds like a common story but the thing is, they raised their children in the forest, trained them to hunt animals for meat, grow and pick their own edible plants and living in the woods like the stone age, but with clothes, books and knowledge of today. But it’s been months as the mother stayed in the city, the hospital as they were told, Ben and his children are about to do something they’ve never done when they learned about the passing of their mother; they’re going to the city even if their grandfather forbids them to.

Captain Fantastic is a smart, eccentric, unique, uncomfortable at times and surprisingly emotional. It’s a story of a family, more than just the story of Ben Cash who is called Captain Fantastic in the film. It’s unlike any family movie you’ve seen and goes beyond the dramas where usual family movies does. And while it may be dramatic, it also tackles life as we know it, the weird, crazy and real struggles and stages in life that we go through, alone and not. It’s sometimes a bit too much but it’s mostly sincere. Its heart lies with the wants of the kids and how fatherhood changes in the most difficult times.

It’s a rare film, not just because it’s hard to come by to this kind of film in Philippine cinemas but it also has a different way of discussing parenting from start to finish. It’s a roller coaster ride of emotions, surprises and has thought-provoking issues about kids, adults, families, parenthood, love, priorities and sacrifices. And you get to be see Viggo Mortensen’s private part, in case that counts (yeah, no kidding).

17 Captain Fantastic


4 Stars

“Captain Fantastic” is now showing in select Philippine cinemas nationwide from Captive Cinema. Rated R-13 by the MTRCB.

Leave a Reply