It started off innocently enough, with just the somewhat foreboding postcards that state simply, "We want what you have," arriving at each home, but what do they mean? This particular street is home to a wide assortment of residents and the real estate has been climbing into astronomical heights as of late. To that end, residents include the obnoxious banker, Roger and his entitled wife, Arabella (Toby Jones and Rachael Stirling, both from Detectorists); Bogdan (Radoslaw Kaim), the Polish contractor who is remodeling a flat on the street, but is also constantly working to perfect Arabella's home according to her exacting and outrageous standards; there's Petunia (Gemma Jones, the Harry Potter series), an 81-year-old woman who has lived in her home for 60 years and watched the neighborhood change around her; then there's the Kamal family, Pakistanis who own the corner convenience store and live above it; and finally there is Quentina (Wunmi Mosaku), a refugee from Zimbabwe who works as a meter maid on the street, although she lives elsewhere.
As each respective person or family goes about their very different lives, they find themselves interacting, if only because of the dreaded postcards, which eventually escalate into more menacing forms of media. Roger finds trouble at work with Mark (Andrew Gower, Outlander), a young go-getter with more initiative than Roger ever imagined, while Arabella finds herself ignored and underappreciated by Roger. Meanwhile, Petunia has health issues on the horizon and a daughter, Mary (Lesley Sharp) who is largely out of her life, although her grandson Smitty (Robert Emms) is very caring and devoted. He is also a Banksy-styled incognito famous artist and none of his family knows.
Bogdan spends his days working on the houses on his street, as well as his own place, while his nights are spent wooing the numerous women he can pick up at the local bar, while his contracting partner Piotr (Krystian Godlewski) just observes, disgustedly, since they are roommates. However, Bogdan re-evaluates his Casanovan ways when Matya (Zrinka Cvitesic), the lovely Hungarian nanny, moves in with Roger and Arabella to care for the kids.
Although Quentina lives in a much rougher neighborhood, she spends her days placing tickets on the various illegally parked cars on Pepyes Street, almost daily giving one to Roger, who can't be bothered to place his placard out. However, Quentina has her own secrets and they revolve around an expired visa which provide more than her share of problems, but the light in her life comes in the form of a lovely man named Mashinko (Kobna Holbrook-Smith) that she met while singing at church. They love spending time together and find themselves falling for one another, if only life wouldn't get in the way.
Finally, there's the Kamals. Ahmed (Adeel Akhtar) is the eldest brother and he runs the store, while his lovely wife Rohinka (Mona Goodwin) cares for their children. Younger brothers Shahid (Danny Ashok) and Usman (Hamza Jeetooa) don't find themselves under as much scrutiny from their mother, Mrs. Kamal (Shabana Azmi), at least until she decides to come visit from Pakistan to assist with the postcard mystery. Shahid finds himself in trouble when an old acquaintance named Iqbal (Tom Reed) prevails upon him for a place to stay and then just doesn't leave. What's worse is the fact that he uses Shahid's things without asking and when the police start looking into Iqbal for terrorist activities, Shahid and the entire family get caught up in a nasty case of racism. Since the entire neighborhood is on edge with the escalating postcard campaign, this only makes the situation more tense and dangerous. It almost feels as though the beleaguered DI Mill (Bryan Dick) will never solve the case - almost.
Capital is an interesting study into financial disparity and the vast differences between races, cultures, and classes of people. While I'm sure there are people out there exactly like this, Roger and Arabella are almost caricatures in some of their selfish behavior and the things they say. Arabella bemoans the fact that they'll have to spend their winter vacation in their country home instead of going on a ski trip, while Roger makes an absurd statement to his boss when he receives a lower bonus than expected. I'll not spoil it here, but suffice to say that it would be akin to me getting a check in the mail for $50,000 and saying it wasn't worth the time it takes to deposit it because I was expecting much more. What??!!?? This is the ridiculous attitude of these people. But good characters make for compelling viewing.
For those looking for a bit more background info, there's also a 17 minute featurette on the making of Capital. While Capital isn't for everyone, the acting is superb and it is a well done drama with an outstanding ensemble cast. It plays out in a bittersweet way, with some residents hopefully ending up as better people at the end of it all.