I CARE A LOT (NETFLIX) (2020)
SYNOPSIS: A court-appointed legal guardian defrauds her older clients and traps them under her care. But her latest mark comes with some unexpected baggage.
According to Marla Grayson (Rosmund Pike), there two types of people in this world. Those that take and those that get took. Lions and Lambs. Marla Grayson is no lamb for sure, she’s a f*** lioness.
In short, Grayson is a woman that have no qualms ripping your balls and dick apart. She is a professional con-artist who abused the healthcare system to pretentiously take over the guardianship of elders and legally seized their wealth and belongings. Her next target happened to be a wealthy retiree named Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest) who owned a fully paid property, cars and a small bagful of diamonds hidden in a safe deposit box. But Jennifer is no ordinary helpless elderly. She happened to have a son, a Russian mafia known as Roman Lunyov (Peter Dinklage).
Not only does Roman wants her beloved mother back but he also wants the diamonds. The opportunistic Grayson and her girlfriend/business partner Fran (Eiza Gonzalez) feels that there are millions to be made out of this deal not knowing that they are biting off more than they can chew this time round.
I Care A Lot is a compelling drama that takes swipe at the problematic American healthcare system that contains a severe loophole which is exploited by people liked Marla Grayson. Considering the number of helpless old folks being duped and dumped into so-called healthcare facilities. It’s atrocious and maddening. While it’s not entirely based on a true story, it’s indeed inspired by thousands of such cases.
Writer and director J Blakeson brought a refreshing if not witty, dark look at the dodgy system using Marla and Fran as two ruthless individuals out to craft a richer life in a male-dominated society. Perhaps there is a hint of feminism somewhere but Blakeson kind of pulls the brake in the last act by focusing on some tedious, cliched wicked revenge and scheming.
Rosamund Pike is excellent as Grayson. Cold, black-hearted and determined. You wouldn’t want to cross path with Pike’s Grayson in real-life. She is truly a fearless, committed actress after her acclaimed appearances in Gone Girl, A Private War and Radioactive. Dinklage meanwhile delivers yet another stunning devilish performance although considering that Grayson is exploiting harmless elderlies, Roman might not be such a bad guy after all.
Again, for argument sake, there’s no one that deserves to be root for in Blakeson’s world actually. That is made abundantly clear that Grayson is a heartless capitalist and Roman is somehow implicated in some murder or false identity case back in Russia. Maybe these factors alone justified their final fate although we are not that sure if this is Blakeson’s true intentions.
Still, I Care A Lot is a thoroughly enjoyable movie. There’s a tinge of dark humour, a spoonful of satire and a smattering of wicked fun in addition to all the strong performances.
Review by Linus Tee