The movies out east are slim pickings as most movies are these days. The big action flicks have taken over the box office and the interesting dramas have taken over TV. Writers have moved where they can be creative and actually make some money. We are beginning to see a small backlash when indie films that on opening day can be seen at the theater or on Netflix. Let’s hope that trend continues.
We went to see Captain Fantastic with zero expectations. A week later and we are still talking about the film. It wasn’t that the film was a jaw dropper or just insanely well acted or even just drew you in for a few hours but it was about the context.
The film is about a family who lives off the grid deep in the woods of Oregon. All six kids are home schooled by their parents beliefs which include reading Dostoevsky, Nabokov and other authors of that stature. They have been taught self-defense, they exercise daily at a level that few of us are able to achieve, they hunt for their own food and grow their own vegetables. They also sing around a campfire and celebrate Noam Chomsky’s birthday. These kids are bright, curious, in shape and are socially inept as they have really never experienced how the rest of the world lives.
Eventually they all must venture into reality due to the loss of their mother. They get to see their cousins who are raised on violent video games and are not that well educated. They see fat people and believe them to be ill. They look at how others live with curiosity, fear and semi-disgust.
The movie makes its point about the society we have built from wealth to education to health. The one thing that really hit me was how the father, played by Viggo Mortensen, is always completely honest and forthcoming with his children. He pushes them to engage and use their own minds vs just spewing out something that is a memorized fact. He is completely honest and candid about sex if someone asks. He doesn’t hold back but answers thoughtfully. I have seen so many parents not be candid with their children and I have never understood why they feel the need to hide them from reality. Honesty in anything is the best policy.
A really interesting movie that pushes us to think about the society we are living in today. Really worth seeing…and then of course talking about.