Paolo Virzi's socioeconomic tragicomedy has a malleable, intricate mutability of the truth that can be construed as a hardly distant convenient, if contrived and often cogent contemporary parable at first illuminating the illusory Italian nouveau riche.
Human Capital (il Capitale umano, fully subtitled and Italy's Academy Award Foreign-Language entry) don't appear to be as manipulative as some discerning cineastes may disagree as various intersecting narrative strands unfold around a bicyclist in critical condition when run down by a car.
Some may recognize the likes of Amores Perros, Magnolia and Crash as metaphorical, concurrent events are shuffled a bit for thematic, deconstructive effect, especially with wry wit at the outset of a four chapter opus.
Dino Ossola (Fabrizio Bentivoglio) is dying to advance beyond a small-scale real-estate agency via the Giovanni Bernaschi (Fabrizio Gigfuni), a businessman on the verge of great financial loss to get into a wealthy tennis partnering hedge fund. Dino's significant other, Roberta (Valeria Golino of Respiro, and Frida) reveals she is pregnant with twins. And, Giovanni's trophy wife and actress, Carla (a vibrantly flustered, but seeking Valeria Bruni Tedeschi of Munich, Queen Margot and A Good Year) pet project from him of a rundown theatre is more fully feasible when razed and renovated into flats.
A grittier style emerges from an overall handsome production as Carla becomes more disconsolate from Dino signing away mucho euros to Giovanni in order to land a decent profit as the latter recognizes the capital. When Dino and Roberta are at a gala months later, his grown daughter Serena (Matilde Gioli who could pass off as a younger sister to Eva Green) privy to the cause of the initial accident turns out to be the amour of Giovanni's son Massimiliano (Guglielmo Pinelli) who is up for an award.
The secret and its toll helps eventually to give meaning maybe in a jumbled timetable where temporal distance between certain events isn't easy to grasp and probably skewering certain relational patterns. Maybe it shouldn't be in a tightly wound multi-stranded whodunit of sorts. Especially once a distraught
Massimiliano starts to get liquored up, a contracting Roberta having to get medical attention and her car keys given to Serena who was told to take laboring woman's car home.
A person's "emotional bonds" can be figured into the insurance terminology for the way damage payouts are computed; an estimated life expectancy of an accident victim multiplied by their income, as the productive value can be adduced economically. Virzi, through his "Rashomon" approach in allowing changing outlooks of similar circumstances to exude the levity and distress, provides quite a contention towards promise based on a cold-hearted individual's dimensionality. The humanity from various classes isn't lost in the scheming process and the stakes are high as Tedeschi leads the way in the most nuanced characterization being many rungs down on the social ladder in an interesting, finely modulated, even wiggly Human Capital.