I’ve watched two films in the past two days: Captain Fantastic by Matt Ross, and After the Storm by Hirokazu Koreeda. Comparing them will no doubt be like comparing cocktails – the results of which are dependent on your personal preference as much as the quality and balance of ingredients that make up the whole.
Captain Fantastic opens with a scene that doubtlessly came out of many a screenplay-polishing workshop. Someone no doubt told Ross to grab the audience in the first 10 seconds, all the better to turn them into captives. The film itself is opinionated, charming and agreeable with a few very funny jokes scattered throughout. But *spoilers ahead* the ending is a total copout, a rose-tinted nemesis of Dogtooth.
After the Storm has no pretensions. It’s a tale told simply and beautifully, and the jokes are not so much made as emerge from its subtle sense of humor. A tale of a writer who no longer writes and the ex-wife and son he pines for, it includes delightful ‘supporting’ characters such as his mother and estranged sister. It’s not quite right to call them supporting characters however, because noone in the cast acts as if they deserve the spotlight alone.
I know what I liked better. If you’ve seen either film and would like to comment, please do.