Captain Fantastic movie

Anybody else seen it? Viggo Mortenson stars in a Matt Ross film that got great reviews at Sundance this year. I have some questions, but all in all those children made me rethink my hatred of all of their kind. :wink:

I saw it last weekend and liked it quite a bit. I have to admit that when I’d only heard the title, I thought it was yet another superhero movie. But it’s not. The story begins in a forest in the Northwest (perhaps in Oregon) where a father is raising six children off the grid. His wife has been in an institution recently for treatment of mental illness, and then something happens to bring them out of their isolation.

I’ve said before that it’s annoying how unoriginal most Hollywood films seem to be, but this was completely original.

No kidding. It was excellently cast as well. But my questions coming out of the movie were:

1. Exactly how rich were they? Mom obviously came from money, and Dad had to have been as well.
2. Where did the parents learn the languages they taught the kids? That’s not something they could have gotten entirely from books, and Dad was shown speaking German and Mandarin.
3. How did Bode get out of the country? Grand-dad would have gone ballistic at the grave-robbing, so all of them are known felons. Bode would trip a million alerts trying to fly to Namibia. For that matter, how could they buy that spread at the end without running afoul of the Law?
4. What was Dad’s training? He was obviously Special Forces-level in a number of skills, and adept at math as well.
5. You can’t reduce a human body to ashes with a pyre that small.

I’ll take a stab at answering your questions.

  1. The father (Ben) said that they bought only what they needed. Possibly they had some savings from when they lived more conventional lives.

  2. Presumably the parents were just well-educated.

  3. Not sure what happened with the grandparents. I was actually confused after Ben drove away from the grandparents, stopped to shave at the gas station and then the kids found him. I’m not sure how they got away with removing the coffin from the graveyard or how the kids left the grandparents’ house.

As for the spread at the end, he said at one point that they formerly lived on a farm (in Oregon or Idaho as I remember). I assumed this was the same farm showed at the end.

Perhaps he went back to the grandparents and made peace with them, including by agreeing to a more conventional way of life. I think the scene in which Bo proposed marriage to the first girl he’d ever kissed showed how poorly socialized he was. Perhaps Ben realized that the children needed to be exposed to other people so that they would be able to function in the wider world.

  1. We were told that the mother had been a lawyer and it looked that the grandfather was also a lawyer. (Possibly a district attorney or judge, based on how familiar he was with the police officer whom he called.) We weren’t told about the father’s academic background, but the opening scene in which Bo stalked and killed the deer and then ate its heart raw was reminiscent of a tribal rite of passage. So perhaps the father was an anthropologist by training?

  2. I agree with that. My understanding is that a real crematorium heats the body to a thousand degrees or more, and even then, the bones are crushed before the ashes are given to the loved ones.

And the film seemed to be posing a question about child abuse. Was Ben abusing his children by raising them as he was? Or were his sister and her husband (and the rest of us) doing so by raising children in a modern society, exposing them to violent video games and without a real understanding of many things?

The movie posed some telling questions, didn’t it?

The kids hid away in the bus in the smuggler spaces, just like Luke, Han and Chewie did in the Falcon.

As for money The wife said she spotted stock certificates along with the will, so they were probably loaded as well as thrifty. Ben seemed very at home in the bank when he needed to score some cash.

For the life of me, I would have sworn the youngest kid was a girl until I read the credits. :smack:

When I read the thread title, I thought it was about Elton John.