Movie Review: 99 Homes
99 Homes is one of those movies where you want to crawl inside yourself and just feel depressed for a while. It’s definitely not a happy film, and there is little to none comedy in it to release all the tension that builds inside you. Right from the beginning you’re introduced to Rick Carver, played by Michael Shannon, the ruthless real estate broker who evicts Dennis Nash, Andrew Garfield, and later gives him a job. And like 50 Shades of Grey, there are lots of papers to sign and montages of …well papers, but that’s where the similarity ends, because after you leave the theater you just want a hug and remember that the sun shines.
It’s movies like this that make me thankful that I don’t live in the city. It felt so real watching Carver and the police knocking on people’s doors and evicting them. The confusion and panic were played out really well, and the fact that these people are obsessing over the smallest trinket in their houses while the police are waiting ‘patiently’ for them to leave is just heartbreaking to watch. This also makes the characters feel very real and the audience can identify with them fairly fast.
This film portrays the ugly side of life really well and addresses the hard questions that families have to ask in these types of situations. Will Dennis decided to move to another state and risk tearing his son away from his school and friends? Will he sacrifice his pride and treat fifty dollars as if it were a thousand? If offered a deal with the devil that could make your life not only go back to what it was but make it better, would you take it? These situations all pop-up and surround Dennis in his decision to do what’s best for his son, and along the way his deal with the devil, a.k.a. Carver has its drawbacks.
You get to see the rise and fall of Dennis Nash in this film as he slowly grows accustomed to stealing, cheating, and breaking the law so that Carver can get more money, and in turn so does Dennis. But what’s really interesting here is that this film doesn’t just focus on Dennis’ point of view, it covers all sides. You understand Dennis’ motivation for doing these awful deeds and rooting for him to get his life back together, you understand Carver’s desire as a seasoned real estate broker and you sort of start rooting for him too. You see the point of view of Dennis’ neighbors who haven’t given up their fight before they too are evicted. This film focuses on every point of view you could have and because of that I feel really conflicted on who I should root for, and that takes a lot of skill to do that to a viewer.
But ultimately the film is about Rick Carver and Dennis Nash, and as the film progresses you start to feel that Rick Carver is becoming like family to Dennis, and Dennis’ real family is almost being ignored by him. By the time the finale comes up you feel heartbroken, and that there isn’t any way Dennis Nash could have a happy ending, and you could argue either way with how the film ended. But for me I’m not really sure about the ending, I’ve been mulling it over in my head, and it just feels like the writer or director, said we need to end the film now and speed up Dennis’ development. I don’t know, maybe the ending will work for everyone else, but this film was a really great drama that any film fan should go and see.