|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Laufzeit:||About 120 min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years]|
Smartphones, YouTube, Fast Food, Computer Games, Shopping - all this does not exist for the six children of Ben (Viggo Mortensen). For they live with their father in seclusion in the wilderness of Northwest America. Here Ben teaches his children all the necessary knowledge about history, politics and literature, but also about survival in the wilderness. When his wife dies, Ben is forced to leave his idyll with his children and travel across the USA in his old bus so that his children can say goodbye to their mother at the funeral. But when they arrive at the grieving grandparents after a turbulent journey, Ben is confronted with a complete rejection of all his ideals. And suddenly he no longer just has to fight to fulfill his wife's last wish…
"Captain Fantastic" is a tragicomic road movie that finally tells a refreshingly different family story. With a lot of heart and humor director Matt Ross gives his audience an insight into a very unusual way of life, in which the family has turned away from civilization and created its own little paradise. But Ross doesn't idealize this in Hollywood style, but rather presents it with all its advantages and shady sides. The patriarch Ben, magnificently embodied by Viggo Mortensen, does not necessarily seem like a true popular figure. Especially his behaviour towards his eldest son (George MacKay) is certainly not considered very nice by most viewers. But with time, the story helps to understand Ben and the difficult relationship between him and his son better.
Naturally, the development Ben is going through here is not entirely free of clichés. And the resolution of the story seems a bit too smooth and harmonious to be able to match the otherwise pleasantly biting tone of the movie. However, even if there might be small flaws like these, the staging can still score with a very interesting character drawing and a profound story, which is told with a very positive lightness despite some difficult themes and dark moments. Matt Ross succeeds in presenting an entertaining entertainment cinema, which has unfortunately become a rarity, and which also offers plenty of material to think about and philosophize about.
In order to really appreciate the different facets of the story, the good play of the actors, the beautiful pictures and the successful staging, there should be a penchant for American independent cinema. Especially the first act of the film is a little bit too bulky for viewers who love fast-paced mainstream cinema. You have to be willing to find your way into the narrative flow. Otherwise, "Captain Fantastic" quickly seems a bit tough or even boring. But if you manage to get involved with the movie, you will get a really nice and moving drama, which shows that laughing can bring such incredibly important sunbeams into life even in the darkest hours. But he also shows how important it can be to move away from one's firm convictions and to be open to compromise in order to live happily ever after. And despite some small point deductions, there is also a clear one: Absolutely worth seeing!
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