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Friday, April 25, 2014

Tribeca Review: 'HUMAN CAPITAL' Is A Sleek, Engaging Thriller You'll Least Expect

Valeria Golino

What's most interesting about director Paolo Virzì's new thriller HUMAN CAPITAL, now showing at the Tribeca Film Festival, is that you're never quite sure of what you're watching until it all starts coming together in its second act, after you've realized that you haven't blinked in, like, thirty minutes.

That's because the film is so gripping, so mounting in its suspense that even as you struggle to keep together all its intertwining stories, you can't look away. It quickly shifts from the subtleties of romance to witty comedy to thriller in a matter of minutes, leading up to a deadly twist at the end that will send shivers down your spine.

Starring Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Valeria Golino (Escape from L.A., Frida, Rain Man), Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (whose performance nabbed the award for Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film) and Matilde Gioli, the Italian drama starts off unassuming--at the end of a restaurant night shift--then pulls you into the action moments later as we follow a waiter heading home on his bike who's sideswiped by two vehicles. The accident, a hit-and-run, instantly sets the tone of the film which is so full of twists and intricate detail that you'll be inclined to watch it again just to make sure you didn't miss anything. 

Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi
But the suspense and cleverly written story isn't just a thriller. At its core, it's about the value of humanity--what we pay for our own and how we perceive other lives to be worth. Throughout the film the characters are constantly engaged in conversations about money and investments that, eventually, result in moral, ethical and lucrative bankruptcies. We don't realize it until the film's final moments, but it was trying to show us casual inhumanities from its very beginning. Its ending will surely spark debate.

Watch the trailer:


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