99 Homes Brings Up Important Questions of Justice and Morality
Can you imagine the feeling of having your family home ripped away from you by a couple of wealthy brokers? And then being told you only have two minutes to collect your things and get out or you’ll be arrested? Sounds pretty unfair, doesn’t it?
But then, imagine that the reason for this was that you took out an $85,000 loan from the government and never paid it back. You’d been given multiple warnings, but did nothing substantial about it. Suddenly, the situation seems a little more logical.
These are the kinds of difficult binaries that constantly come up in the movie 99 Homes. It centers around Dennis Nash, a single father who lives with his mother and his son in their family home. Dennis is aware that his house is at risk of being taken away, so he begins to take on side projects to make extra money, but they keep falling through. He never gives up, which makes the scene of the family’s eviction even harder to watch. After this scene, Dennis runs into Rick Carver, the man who evicted him and makes a living off of doing the same to others, and Rick offers him a job. Dennis desperately accepts, but doesn’t find out the extent of what he’s agreed to until it’s almost too late.
This movie does a great job at putting you in the shoes of the people being evicted from their homes. The eviction scenes rip your heart out because these people have nothing left and are begging for more time. I have to admit that I became incredibly stressed every time someone new got thrown out of their homes, but that’s all part of the movie-watching experience. There’s one part in particular where an elderly man gets evicted…I won’t say anything else, but it was so sad, and hit me really hard. The scene was done so well, in part because of Andrew Garfield’s ability to show so much emotion in his facial expressions and through his eyes. Not much was said, but my heart broke for both of them because it was clear that they were both good people who didn’t want to be in the position they were in.
Speaking of Andrew Garfield, he was fantastic in this movie. He was the perfect mix of vulnerable, naïve, and determined, and the emotions he conveyed were spot-on. He was incredibly genuine, and that’s very admirable. Michael Shannon also did a great job as Rick Carver, the ruthless and underhanded real estate broker. He was cruel and aggressive, and played the role of the “bad guy” very convincingly.
The best aspect of the movie to me was that it makes you question the law and government versus human emotions. Although Rick seems to have no heart at all, some of the points he makes seem to be valid – technically, these people have broken the law and do owe the government money – but it’s so easy for the viewers’ emotions to get in the way and cloud their judgement of the situation. I guess that’s why a logical, emotionless man like Rick would be so good at this job – he’d only see the law, and be immune to any emotionality.
Overall, this movie was great. It had a lot of parts that were extremely suspenseful (especially the ending – I had no idea what was going to happen), Andrew Garfield was wonderful, and it tackled real issues. But most of all, it caused the viewer to think critically about the emphasis they place on emotion versus the law, and ethics versus personal gain. I would recommend this movie to anyone looking for a bit of action and a lot of emotion.
Check out 99 Homes on Execulink’s VOD channel (ch.100) from Feb.9th to Aug.8th 2016.
Caitlin Feehan, Blogger & Editor
Converse have been my footwear of choice for the past 9 years, I’m convinced that all doors and sidewalks are conspiring against me, and I enjoy sticking my head out of the passenger window on long car rides.