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I Care a Lot sees Rosamund Pike, star as a Crooked Legal Guardian named Marla Grayson, who preys on her elderly wards and steals their life savings. But when Marla’s next target turns out to be an elderly woman with powerful ties to the Russian Mafia, things take an interesting turn.
While I love the first half of I Care a Lot, my biggest disappointment comes when the movie fails to properly punish Marla for any of her crimes. And by the end of the film, it felt like the writers noticed this mistake and hurriedly killed her off to appease the audience.
But before we go any further, let’s talk about what I loved about Netflix’s I Care a Lot.
The opening scene of I Care a Lot is easily the best part of the entire film.
From the minute you meet Marla Grayson, she fills you with an instant hatred for her character. And for the rest of the movie, you’ll be openly wishing for her and her business to come burning down.
As Marla, Rosamund Pike perfectly channels the ruthless and manipulative nature of Amy Dunne from 2014’s Gone Girl. And through that, she becomes this cold-hearted woman who will do any and everything to win, no matter the cost.
But while we’re obviously meant to hate Marla (and trust me, you will), over time, you’ll end up developing a sense of respect for her character.
Though greedy, Miss Grayson is also a very determined woman who clearly fears poverty more than death. And it’s thanks to this trait that she becomes a capable threat to her new ward and her Russian associates.
Speaking of which?
Peter Dinklage was very intimidating as the Mafia boss Roman Lunyov. And the second act of the movie properly sets him up as the judgment from God that Marla deserves.
However, to my disappointment, Roman doesn’t do much to damage Marla’s life or business.
As I said in my opening, my biggest issue with I Care a Lot is how Marla barely faces any consequences for her actions.
Throughout the first half of the movie, the film constantly teases the lengths Roman Lunyov will go to get his mother out of Marla’s custody. But when the time comes to act, he resorts to cartoonishly stupid Lawyers and Henchmen.
I mean, after all the hype, I expected Roman to at least try to expose Marla’s sham of a business before coming for her friends and family. But while Marla was always on her A-game and making moves to draw out her opponent, Roman’s people were constantly incompetent.
Even when roman finally gets his revenge, the movie uses convenient storytelling to give Marla a way out. And by doing so, the film completely nullified any of the consequences Miss Grayson should have suffered.
And then there’s the plot convenience.
I mean, how did Marla wake up in time to save herself from drowning after she had been drugged twice? And given the distance, how could she have made it in time to save her girlfriend, Fran, from dying? These are terrible movie cliches I expect from low-budget action movies and not from a grounded crime drama.
And after failing to deliver on its promise, I Care a Lot then tries to pull a twist by hurriedly killing Marla off at the very end. But it wasn’t enough.
Personally, I would have been fine with Marla surviving the film if she and Roman had first destroyed each other’s lives and businesses. Then, and only then, would the film’s ending where the pair come together to form the perfect evil corporation make more sense.
But then again, that’s just my opinion.
Though I Care a Lot kicks off with a strong beginning, its second half ultimately squanders the movie’s build-up and delivers a rushed and lackluster ending. But while all this isn’t enough to label the movie as a bad one, it is enough to call it disappointing.
- Strong Beginning
- Excellent Acting
- Good Concept
- Disappointing Ending
- Excessive Plot Convenience