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Based on his script for “Human Capital” (adapted from a novel by Stephen Amidon), and his last film “The Dinner” (based on a novel by Herman Koch), screenwriter Oren Moverman seems taken with exploring themes of morality (or immorality) and money, especially when it comes to teenagers and their wealthy parents.

Director Marc Meyers, who previously tackled the questionable morality of teens in “My Friend Dahmer,” helms Moverman’s script, which opens with a small interaction that becomes a monumental event, one that happens so quickly you almost don’t even know what consequences of it may bring. The tendrils of the plot then unfurl, almost in a “Rashomon”-like fashion, rewinding to a moment before the initial event, when all the main characters meet for the first time. The film returns again and again to this point, picking up the story with a new character every time until all the puzzle pieces fall into place.

Here’s Drew (Liev Schreiber), nosy, dropping his teenage daughter Shannon (Maya Hawke) off at her boyfriend Jamie’s (Fred Hechinger) sprawling pad. Here are Jamie’s wealthy parents, the distracted Carrie (Marisa Tomei) and ingratiating Quint (Peter Sarsgaard), a hedge fund manager who invites Drew for a game of tennis.

Just when you think the story is going to follow the downward spiral caused by a risky investment made by an inveterate gambler with twins on the way (Drew), the film rewinds. It picks up with Carrie, and we follow her unhappy marriage, her stunted desire to create something meaningful of her own, dreams dashed by her husband’s purse strings. We rewind yet again, picking up with a confused and fumbling Jamie, and finally with the sharp-eyed Shannon, as the plot inches closer and closer to the inciting event.

Moverman’s script is exceptionally efficient, almost astoundingly so, as he dexterously weaves character and backstory through the intertwined interactions. Meyers directs with a swift pace, though the family tragedy is grounded in reality. Moverman’s last two directorial efforts, “The Dinner” and “Time Out of Mind,” have swerved into an almost experimental territory. They’re highly stylized affairs, in which he layers maddening soundscapes of ambient noise to bring a sense of the surreal to the mundane. With Meyers’ far more staid directing, the tragedy of the story is that much more sobering to take in, but also makes the film that much more quotidian.

The title “Human Capital” reveals itself to be a bit too metaphorically leading, when it comes to a film exploring how hedge fund managers deal with matters of life and death. The efficient writing and effective direction is a bit too swift to let some of the plot points fully land, and it’s tied up with far too neat a bow for such an otherwise complicated story. But combined with the roster of compelling actors, including a breakout performance by Maya Hawke, “Human Capital” makes for an engrossing adult mystery that explores the quandary when personal ethics wrestle with matters of the heart.

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‘HUMAN CAPITAL’

2.5 stars

Cast: Liev Schreiber, Marisa Tomei, Peter Sarsgaard, Maya Hawke, Alex Wolff, Betty Gabriel.

Directed by Marc Meyers.

Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes.

No MPAA rating.

Available on demand.