comScore

Review: Human Capital Shows Us That Our Secrets Never Stay Buried

3.5/5 wrecked jeeps.

Liev Schreiber and Peter Sarsgaard in Human Capital

A movie that focuses on the willingness of humans to throw one another to the dogs for their own gain, Human Capital is a wonderful look and what each of us is willing to do to protect ourselves.

Following the story of each character to unravel the mystery of how someone was killed, the movie shows us a jeep clipping a man on his bike and killing him, and yet we don’t know how or why it’s connected to the overall story. As we learn more about each character, we see a glimpse into their lives and how they, eventually, ended up in the twisted mess of this deadly accident.

Drew Hagel (Liev Schreiber) is taking his daughter, Shannon (Maya Hawke), to her boyfriend’s house when he meets Quint Manning (Peter Sarsgaard). Quint, who is more focused on his business than his family, offers to let Drew buy shares in his company, and Drew, who is too worried about missing the opportunity, does it without thinking of the consequences it can have for him financially.

Hagel gets a loan, lies about his income, and does everything to get into this company, and later, when it isn’t instantly profitable, he wants his money back, despite the deal he made with Quint. But not everything about Quint Manning’s life is perfect. His wife, Carrie (Marisa Tomei), is lost in her desires to restore a theater and live out a dream she once had, despite Quint’s dismissal of her wants.

A movie set around secrets, throughout the film, we learn about just how far people will go to protect the ones they love, but we see it through the eyes of the children. Jamie Manning (Fred Hechinger) is being blamed for the accidental death, having been drunk and not knowing what actually happened, and Shannon is willing to let that happen because of her own connection to the accident.

Jamie has lies that he’s unwilling to tell his parents, Shannon is keeping her father in the dark, and everyone is focused more on their own lives and problems than on one another, which is maybe an exploration of our culture, because as teenagers get older, it seems as if they harbor more and more secrets from their parents.

Still, watching as Carrie attempts to fight back against her husband, who doesn’t care about her desires or anything she wants, the film does have a frustrating undertone of us, as the audience, wanting to just shake those who are on the screen and have them just talk to each other.

With surprising twists and reveals, the movie does a great job of keeping you engaged with the story and caring about Shannon, Jamie, and Shannon’s boyfriend, Ian (Alex Wolff), rather than any of their parents. Both Carrie and Ronnie Hagel (Betty Gabriel) represent women who are trusting and striving to live their own lives separate from their husbands, but both women are blind to aspects of what their husbands are doing, and not for the better.

It’s a great look at the lies we tell those closest to us and what we’re willing to do to protect ourselves. Human Capital is definitely a movie you want to see!

(image: 42 West)

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