My Review of "Captain Fantastic"
I met people like the character in Captain Fantastic. This made it especially interesting to watch this movie.
Captain Fantastic came out back in 2016 and I never really wanted to watch it because I knew people that were very anti-establishment and sometimes they drove me nuts. There's an air of truth to what they preach but I was instantly reminded of their stubborn points of views. Knowing this, I didn't think it would be that interesting of a movie. I was horribly wrong. This movie is pretty amazing and I'll get to why it was.
This movie starts out with a hunting scene. Bo, the eldest of the offspring of our main character Ben, is hunting a deer. The actions are visceral and vicious but feel ceremonial. We soon find out that this was not only to feed the family but it was a ceremony to recognize Bo as a man.
Ben has a number of kids. Each of them follow his teachings in the woods. He has them all learning about pretty much everything and at really high levels. They're also trained in combat and regularly exercise to keep fit. It's pretty remarkable that they all do this so obediently.
There is one child, Rellian, that doesn't quite buy everything that Ben is teaching them. He still follows along but he has an air of rebellion in him. This is fine with Ben because he wants his kids to think outside the box and think for themselves as long as they can explain themselves. Sometimes this isn't easy to do though.
The whole story gets a huge twist when we all realize why Ben has been raising these kids on his own. Their mother has been put into a hospital and they're all awaiting her return. Unfortunately their mother was hospitalized for a sever case of bipolar disorder. One day Ben finds out that his wife had finally committed suicide.
Everyone's lives suddenly come collapsing down. They realize the enormity of the situation and find out that she had a will that had requested some stuff that wouldn't be exactly be celebrated by the rest of extended family. To add fuel to the fire, none of Ben's in-laws like him and they resent him for the death. Ben's father-in-law even threatens to arrest Ben so that he would be taken away from the children.
Sometimes you have to back down from a higher power Ben thinks but then again, he's been teaching his kids throughout the years to fight the power. That's the sole reason why they've been living in isolation for so many years. Ben eventually breaks down and abides by the children's wishes to fulfill their mother's last will and testament.
This then becomes an exploration into the methods into the way Ben has been raising his children. We see that in a way he's taught them so much. In fact all of his kids are highly intelligent and are at a level way past kids their own age. They're also incredibly fit and would be able to survive in the wilderness in case there's a downfall with mankind.
Still that doesn't really teach the kids other things in life. Bo starts to realize this when he starts to discover females for the first time. He's unable to talk to them because he doesn't know what to talk about. Even when he tries to talk to them he has nothing to relate to them. He's extremely awkward and unable to socialize because he's unaware of what's been going on in the outside world.
We definitely see the massive differences when the rest of the kids get a glimpse at the outside world. They notice all of these things that they've never seen or heard of. Their cousins hate them because they're kind of elitist sounding kids that can't help it because that's the way they've been raised.
Ben has to reevaluate what he's been doing all of his life even. This is extremely tough because they've done this for such honorable reasons and it's hard to get outside of the mindset. He's also coping with the loss of the love of his life and doesn't really know what to do despite having so much book knowledge.
There's a little bit of everything in this movie and it's such a great exploration of duty, life and egos. I love the fact that they explained the pros and cons of the homeschooling that Ben administered to his children. It left me questioning whether Ben did the right thing or not. There are so many philosophical questions throughout this movie that will linger in your head after watching the movie.
Overall, I was totally wrong to underestimate this film. I fell in love with the movie almost instantly and it was a fantastic ride from start to finish. The pacing was great and kept me enthralled to the story. I have to give this movie a 9 out of 10. I really liked it and I think a general audience would be able to appreciate it. Despite the appearance of the movie, it is a very inclusive movie.