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Film Review: “Human Capital” (2019) ★★★★★


© Maven Pictures

We gamble every day whether we realize it or not. When we leave home for work, cross the street, drive on the highway, not wear a helmet when we ride a bicycle and so on. We have no idea whether we will return home that day or end up in the nearest cemetery. All these are circumstantial but, in other words, human capital.

“Human Capital” directed by Mark Meyers and adapted from Stephen Amidon’s novel, offers three different views on one tragedy where it could easily ruin lives. Not even a single person realizes that two families and their members can go through difficult moments due to an incident that marks the beginning of another game – a gamble with life. During that time, there will be many revelations, secrets kept, adultery, love, and disappointment. And one man that was looking forward to having a great evening never gets his chance to reach his destination safely.

When the film opens, we meet a waiter (Dominic Colon) who was in a rush to get home to his family to celebrate the birthday of his child. Taking a bicycle ride, the man had no idea that it will be the last thing he will ever do. In a dark alley, he is hit by a silver Jeep, leaving him severely injured lying on the grass. In the next scene, we see the same jeep, belonging to a wealthy family of Quint (Peter Sarsgaard) and Carrie (Marisa Tomei). When the aspirational realtor, Drew drops his daughter, Shannon off at a big mansion that belongs to her boyfriend’s parents, Quint and Carrie, the man meets the father of his daughter’s boyfriend with whom he sees an opportunity to invest money to earn more later.

We also learn that Drew used to be a gambler. Carrie is not happy in her marriage and wants to buy an old music hall where she can come up with great ideas to promote art in the community. Shannon, in the meantime, is going through her own drama in life, eventually bringing every one to the point where they all have to make choice about what to do when the event slowly begins leading to that lifechanging night that is about to test the value of a family, the power of money, hard choices when the time comes, and to find enough strength to face it.

Having that said, “Human Capital” is an excellent film that provides food for thought. As it explores two families by providing multiple views on one event, it goes deep into the issue revealing the core problem of why sometimes people do wrong things and can’t find the courage to speak up about it. At some point, there’s always a price to be paid and someone most definitely will. Because in the world of human capital, there are no other choices other than making sacrifices.

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