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"Captain Fantastic" is about the fantasy of being able to create a perfect world for your children, and the crushing realization that such control is ultimately impossible. Ben (Viggo Mortensen) pursues this ideal in a particularly extreme way – by removing his family from society altogether and creating his own little utopia in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. Ranging in age from single digits to late teens, the six children – Nai (Charlie Shotwell), Zaja (Shree Crooks), Rellian (Nicholas Hamilton, who resembles young River Phoenix), Vespyr (Annalise Basso), Kielyr (Samantha Isler) and Bo – have been molded in Ben's very specific image. Ben finds out early in the film that she's killed herself.Unlike Harrison Ford's unsympathetic "Mosquito Coast" protagonist, however, Ben clearly loves his family deeply and genuinely thinks that his way is the best way.
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