As this is my 50th blog post(hurrah! or something), I accepted a recommendation from one of my friends, Aman Janardhan. As I know him very well, I almost instantly regretted it because I was sure he is going to use this golden opportunity to recommend me an absolute crap film(like I usually do when somebody asks me), but he didn’t. You know why? Because good things happen to good people. I made good friends, not gonna lie. So I ended up watching one of the best movies of all time and that is Captain Fantastic.
The movie is about a father who is home-schooling his children away from the city in order to make them, human. Not these cookie-cut products which come out of schools and colleges. They know more than any average kid in the block, they are stronger than most athletes but as soon as they get a whiff of the pleasures of the city life they start to have their doubts and rightfully so. Through this journey they begin to understand the practicalities of the knowledge that they have gained and come to terms with the general concept of life. I see that this movie has been put in the comedy and drama genre and I disagree with that because this shouldn’t be in a genre. If there would have been a genre termed “life lessons”, then it would have been appropriate. This is the movie that our generation need in order to understand how we have quantified life and have forgotten how to enjoy it. It’s one life after-all. There was nothing before, there is nothing after. So just enjoy and live it as it is. Learn as much as you can, love as much as you want so that when you die, the people who love you and whom you love, bid you goodbye with a smile.
The direction and writing is by Matt Ross. Spectacular work, especially because he managed to touch upon every single factor that is bogging our lives right now. I am sure all the “social justice warriors” and PETA and the so called child care activists would have been shifting uncomfortably in their seats while watching this. I would pay to watch those people watch this movie and witness their reaction. All of their movements started with a good thought and now all of those organisations have become an abomination. Touching every single aspect within a span of 2 hours is just incredible.
There are such subtle things, like the dinner table scene. In a video from Lessons from the Screenplay, he said that a dinner table scene is an essay of the tone of the movie and a tool for showing the nuances of the characters. He was giving the example of American Beauty. Here the scene lasts a total of 10 mins, I think. In those 10 mins the character of every single, politically correct, sugar-coated family is portrayed and how they are offended by such trivial matters. The sex ed is just brilliant and make for the most funniest scenes in the movie.
There are some beautiful songs coupled with some surreal imagery. It felt like the movie was just cleaning my brain and coating it with calmness. I know it sounds like some bullshit but it’s true.
The acting is just out of the world. I haven’t seen much of Viggo Mortensen since The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I have kept Eastern Promises but I haven’t seen it yet and after seeing this, I have to see it. He is just great and absolutely dug into his character. Nothing dramatic. Just subtle gestures and expressions. Actually everyone’s acting was comprised of one thing, subtlety. I’d like to name all of the kids because all of them were amazing. George Mackay as Bo is funny, sarcastic and prosaic at times. He has such a varied set of expressions and he even uses his physicality to showcase it too. Samantha Isler and Annalise Besso as Kielyr and Vespyr played off each other very well. I don’t know if that last song is sung by Samantha or not, but it brought me to tears. Nicholas Hamilton as Rellian is the rebel and he has the next most punchable face after Will Poulter and the kid who plays Joffrey Baratheon. It’s a compliment actually. My favourite out of all these were Shree Crooks as Zaja and Charlie Shotwell as Nai. So young and so much talent.
The best thing about all these performances are that it was so natural. There was no exposition and the credit goes to the writing. The relationship between every single family is established so simply and yet has so many layers to it. Not layers of complexity but layers of emotions. Like I said earlier, it is the movie that our generation needs right now.
FINAL VERDICT – Definitely watch this movie and send a personal thank you to Matt Ross for making this movie and tell him to convey your regards to the entire crew for getting it done in such beautiful manner. I’d also like to make a suggestion. Keep this movie with you. It will be relevant now, 10 years after and possibly forever. Obviously many more movies will come but this movie will be relevant in every phase that humanity will go through. Show it to your family, your kids(if you have kids) and store it. I see it becoming a classic.
Personal note: I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who happen to stumble upon my reviews and read them. It keeps me motivated to keep writing. So yeah, thanks.
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