Human Capital is an Italian film told via 3 intertwining stories across 4 chapters, and is another fine example of how to execute the inter-connected storyline task similar to that of Amores Perros or Babel. Primarily focussing on two families from very different classes, it bridges the gap between the two by portraying the relationship between their respective kids. As the story develops we learn more about each family member, emotional and financial states are put under stress, and we realise that all is not as black and white as first seemed.
What amplifies these quite normal factors of life is the unsolved murder at the heart of the story. A cyclist shoved off the road by a speeding car in the dead of night, any number of suspects and no clue as to when the culprit will be revealed. Each story of each character providing enough depth for us to care about them, set to beautiful landscapes and some fine performances, but as quickly as they come the story’s end abruptly. Tense cliff-hangers remain until the big reveal, as the audience and the characters attempt to connect the dots as to who did what.
Human Capital is a sleek and sophisticated film, but it is more than a murder mystery. It uses the murder to accelerate the subsequent further division of class and highlight individual’s true colours. On a broader scale, this is Paolo Virzì’s view of the current state of Italy, a sharply observed social commentary. The gulf between the “have” and “the have-nots” is always present, but the drama, despite being quite soap-operatic, shows that those who appear to have it all are perhaps the ones with the most missing.
Human Capital is now available on UK Netflix