This is a difficult watch, but an honest depiction of its premise. The theme is to gift a homeless man with a $100,000 windfall, and then watch as a spectator what the man does with this sudden good fortune. The movie is told in a documentary form, with frequent side-bar interview commentary by the subject of the study, Ted, and the people he interacts with. The film teeters on the brink of exploitation, as it occasionally resembles a reality show, but still manages to give a brutally honest picture.
Ted is presented to you in the early going, and his story is not a pretty picture. He laments over failed opportunities, blames others for his predicament (especially women), and lives in semi-isolation. He stores what few belongings he has in a hole underneath a freeway viaduct, and peddles around on a bicycle collecting recyclables for redemption. He smokes and drinks. And that's about it.
After meeting Ted, it's hard to be anything but pessimistic about what lies ahead for him. It's obvious he despises conventional wisdom and any form of accountability from others. He rejects counsel on how to utilize the money, and throws his bank rolls around in endless partying and large purchases. It must have been difficult for the movie makers to resist the temptation of intervening in Ted's actions.
It's sad, and it's hard to watch. Whether Ted is indicative of the majority of homeless people is a matter for introspection and discussion. Everyone will have a different view on this matter, but the film's point is to get the subject on the table, since society tends to just accept this social problem as unbeatable (and it may even be so; that is a matter to ponder, as well).
This thought provoking film is recommended.
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