This weekend Netflix debuted a film that rocked the emotions of many viewers. That film titled, I Care A Lot gave viewers many feelings, and caring about characters was not one of them.
The film which stars Rosamund Pike and Peter Dinklage pushes the boundaries of how far writers can go when creating main characters with extremely horrid moral compasses. And the result is quite an experience that will leave one either entertained or angry as hell — or both.
But, does that mean I Care A Lot is worth a stream on Netflix? Here is our full review of this extremely dark film.
I Care A Lot review
In the movie, Rosamund Pike plays Marla Grayson, a lady with ruthless ambitions to use the elderly for her benefit. Marla runs a business housing persons deemed mentally and physically unfit to take care of themselves at a certain age and does so to reap the benefits of their assets by assuming the role of their guardian.
Some of the people require her help but mostly it implies that the majority of her dependents have been forced under her will through manipulative court practices. Basically, she takes the elderly hostage and bleeds them dry. In summary, Marla is the absolute worst.
But, she ends up strong-arming the wrong lady under her care. This sweet old woman Jennifer Peterson has a silent protector unbeknownst to Marla — and that protector is a mysterious man named Roman Lunyov (Peter Dinklage).
The film has a fantastic score executed by Marc Canham that gives off vibes of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ best work. It’s very much aligned to scores like Gone Girl, maybe even to a fault, but it gives the film a nice atmosphere throughout.
Rosamund Pike’s role of Marla is absolutely amazingly performed and one can tell she loves being a bad guy. Here she is doing the same character that she portrayed in Gone Girl only somehow more ruthless and vile than her role in the Fincher film.
But nothing about the role of Marla is likable. In fact, this is the first movie in recent memory that audiences might wish nothing but bad things for a character. And it’s also unclear at times whether the viewer should be rooting for her.
The same can be said of Peter Dinklage’s portrayal of Roman — even though his motives are undeniably sympathetic through most of the film.
Dinklage is probably the best he has ever been outside of Game of Thrones in this movie, giving an absolutely thrilling and buyable performance as a crime boss. And the entire time we as the audience hope he can ruin Marla’s life in the most devastating of ways.
And that is the entire reason this movie is so engrossing — and maybe for the wrong reasons. Marla is the absolute worst parts of humanity wrapped up in a single person. She will do anything to embrace greed, no matter what, even if that means it kills everyone around her. And at every turn, it stays addicting because the viewer just wants her to burn in a fiery pit.
Maybe that was the intended point of director J Blakeson’s creative decisions, but it leaves a very conflicting taste in one’s mouth the more it plays out. Having a terrible person be the focal point of any story makes it hard to know whether it’s a likable film.
This is not to say bad guys cannot make great main characters. They absolutely can, and under the right script, it can be riveting. For example, Denzel Washington’s Alonzo in Training Day is ruthless but it’s sympathetic how he got there. Years of corrupt conditioning in the police force made him a snake and as much as we hope he fails, his conclusion is somehow tragic.
Marla is just terrible, unforgivable, and has no redeeming qualities. And for such a strongly directed, energetic, and wild piece of work, ultimately journeying with her takes the experience down a peg. If the film gave Marla the same treatment as the characters from I Saw The Devil, only then would this movie give the satisfaction viewers demand.
I Care A Lot is a frustrating experience. It will absolutely keep the viewers’ attention for its entire runtime and the performances, score, and direction are solid.
But, spending two hours with Marla is a tall order and rooting for an absolute greedy sociopath who ruins the lives of the elderly is a hard sell.
I Care A Lot does have its fans though, so if watching a terribly vile sadistic person who reaps rewards by kidnapping the elderly sounds like a fantastic night at the movies, then take it for a spin.
I Care A Lot is now streaming on Netflix.