Director Matt Ross and actor Viggo Mortensen bring a touching tale of family loyalty and love to the screen in Captain Fantastic, which follows one family’s journey to make itself whole after a tragic heartbreak.
Mortensen has never been better as Ben Cash, a modern day eco-warrior, naturalist and semi-survivalist who has raised his six children off the grid in the middle of nature in an almost hippie commune atmosphere. Here his children have learned to live off the land, while also devouring Marxist texts, and never once been spurned of the hard truth by Ben. But following the death of his mentally unstable wife via suicide, Ben is forced to take his family out into the wider world in what becomes a very memorable road trip.
Mortensen is thoroughly uncompromising in his performance as a man who holds his unusual way of life as the pinnacle of his character, which can lead to some uncomfortable moments. But Mortensen also brings considerable love and affection to the role, and you never doubt that Ben is a man who desires that his family live a full and compelling life.
The six Cash children also make a huge impression on screen as a pack of wild, forest kids who have never known the ‘comforts’ of modern living. While the actors all get their moment to shine, it’s George MacKay (Bo) who steals a great many of the film’s best scenes.
Captain Fantastic is a story that mixes both heartwarming family fun and tragic drama to produce an original piece of cinema that will challenge audiences.
Image source: EOne