I Care a Lot is actually a fun spectacle. Even though as a black satirical comedy that is thrown it is not as sharp as expected, as a thriller, the intensity is well preserved. Until the conclusions destroy the above achievements. The conclusion that makes J Blakeson’s latest work (The Disappearance of Alice Creed, The 5th Wave), as the director and writer of this script, feels unstable. It could be the result of demands to be politically right, or perhaps, Blakeson simply doesn’t know what to say.
Through this film, Rosamund Pike landed his third Golden Globe nomination. The first time was through Gone Girl (2014), which is undeniably her most iconic role. Even so, Amy Dunne was the reason Pike was chosen to play Marla Grayson here. Unlike Amy, Marla is not a psychopath. But clearly, in carrying out his criminal acts, Marla did not have the slightest doubt or remorse. Top Movie Site
What kind of criminal is Marla? Together with his lover, Fran (Eiza González), he commits a fraud, under the guise of being a guardian for the elderly, whom the court deems to be unable to live alone. Through a simple yet informative sequence, also packaged in a stylish manner by Blakeson, we learn about Marla’s modus operandi. First, the doctor recommends that a client (read: prey), even if necessary, falsifies a medical report to make the judge believe, if the elderly person needs the help of a guardian. Then, thanks to the help of the ALF (Assisted Living Facility, or similar to a nursing home in Indonesia), the elderly can be forced to stay there as long as possible, without access to communication with the outside world, while Marla is in charge of managing their assets. “Managing” here means, of course, “spending for personal gain.”
Doesn’t anyone have any suspicions? Of course there is, but Marla’s trick is very convincing. Just as convincing as Pike’s appearance, which makes his character (who at first glance looks harmless due to his thin stature) is sturdier than a boulder. He was always calm, thought tactically, never collapsed even when his life was in danger. Her outfits that often have bright colors (salute for the costume department!) Don’t mean she’s a cheerful woman. On the contrary, it makes Marla appear to be enjoying her crimes, as if everything is a game. Contrary to Pike, Eiza González as Fran is a passionate young girl. Their chemistry is one of the dynamics for the film.
Once upon a time, Marla’s latest victim is a retiree named Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest). He was wealthy, and most importantly, without a family. The action was carried out. The court ruled that Jennifer should receive treatment for dementia. Everything goes smoothly for our protagonist, until a twist comes, along with the entry of Peter Dinklage with his intimidating nature, who plays a mysterious mafia boss. Best Movie
On the one hand, the existence of Dinklage adds to the entertainment value of I Care a Lot, making it an intense thriller. But on the other hand, the story is starting to lose its grip. The narrative in the opening scene implies that this film will be a satire about social class in the United States. And so, until the narrative is covered by a scenario about the cat-and-mouse between “the bad” and “the worse”. The script is not as clever as the writer’s expectations. Sufficient as cheap thrills, but definitely not quite what it is called “smart”, especially when Blakeson is quite fond of using coincidences to keep the plot going.
But once again, I Care a Lot was able to appear entertaining. Then we come to the ending. Ending that was present suddenly. A strong candidate for the worst ending in 2021, one that will be hard to beat. Ending that made me wonder, “What the hell does Blakeson want ?!”. Blakeson makes his film like a multiple personality. It is as if he is too afraid, that in a politically right era like now, his film will receive blasphemy if it sided with criminals. Especially when the criminal worships money.
Yet there are opportunities to convey the complexities that challenge black-and-white perspectives in life. And Blakeson has justified the choice of the protagonist. Not just one, but two. First related to finance, second, regarding gender. But instead of processing it all, Blakeson actually betrayed what had been built throughout the duration, for the sake of an ending that destroyed everything. Movie Review