I Care a Lot
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With Rosamund Pike as it’s core, I Care a Lot tells the story of Marla Grayson, a legal guardian to elders who claims her job is to care yet takes advantage of her power to cold-heartedly profit from her clients assets. From the first scenes we discover how she manages to keep scamming elders without being caught. On one hand, she convinces the overseeing judges that she does what’s in the best interest of her clients. On the other hand, she teams up with a doctor who testifies in court that Marla's prey cannot take care of themselves, creating the illusion to the judge that the elders need a qualified guardian to take control of every aspect of their life.
(As surprising as it might sound, the director and writer J Blakeson revealed the plot and industry in which this film is based on, is actually a real life industry that currently exists.)
Throughout the movie we follow Marla’s point of view. Her incredible confidence and unapologetic behaviour shapes her character in a very sharp way within the first few scenes. During a fight with the son of one of her wards, she expresses her desire to be in control and threatens the man. It is very clear from the beginning the motivations and contributions to the story of her character. Marla’s business is unbelievably successful until she decides to take as a guardian a ‘cherry’ patient, a person with wealth and no close family, from whom she can profit the most without raising suspicions. However, the ‘cherry’ patient named Jennifer Peterson turns out to be too good to be true, and problems start to arise when Marla discovers ‘Jennifer’ does in fact have family and is connected to the Russian mafia. From this moment on, a constant conflict between both sides (the mafia and Marla’s) arises and the film becomes a chaotic adventure where every form of conniving revenge remains on the table.
Pike’s performance as Marla is the highlight of the film and will certainly be entertaining for audiences
There is no way you will be bored watching this movie; however, there were a few aspects of this movie that kept me wondering throughout. For instance, what is Marla’s true motivation for not giving up? Even when in life-or-death situations she claims she’s 'not afraid to die’ as she ‘wants the money and will not lose’, but I kept waiting for her to reveal some purpose of what to spend millions of dollars on. Later I realised it was to prove her desire was to fulfil the American dream, and the only way to do so is by playing dirty.
Similarly, I would have loved to see more dimensionality to Fran, Marla’s romantic and business partner. It was inspiring to see a same-sex couple at the centre of a story without the plot being about their sexuality, nonetheless her character seemed to have no opinion or purpose on her own, other than being another business predator. In my opinion it would have added a lot more to the movie if there had been more time spent on intimate moments between the several main characters, perhaps there wasn’t enough room for it in the thriller-focussed storyline.
Despite the dialogue feeling forced and unnatural at times, Pike’s performance as Marla is the highlight of the film and will certainly be entertaining for audiences. Perhaps even by the end of I Care a Lot you will reflect on how capitalism is affecting our society with the obsession of becoming rich.