I Care A Lot Review: Psychological Thriller About Guardianship Fraud

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I care a lot is a Netflix black comedy thriller directed and written by J. Blakeson. The film has an impressive cast of cast including Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage, Dianne Wiest, Chris Messina and Eiza González. The film is about a legal guardian who ends up in hot water when she tries to defraud a woman who has connections to a powerful gangster.

The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2020. It was released digitally on streaming platforms – Netflix and Prime Video – on February 19, 2021. The film received generally mixed reviews but was able to win a Golden Globe nomination. for her star Rosamund Pike.

The film follows predatory crook woman, Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike), and his girlfriend, Fran, on their fraudulent adventures. The duo take advantage of the legal system to access the guardianship of unsuspecting and lonely seniors. Marla has arrangements with an accomplice, Dr. Karen Amos, who helps the duo exploit unsuspecting elders. Marla and Fran’s duo then convince a not-so-impartial judge to have guardianship over the target elder. They do this by citing fake and manipulated evidence to prove that the ancients cannot take care of themselves.

Marla leads a guardianship racket through fraudulent exploits of the elderly in I Care A Lot.

I care a lot about the plot

The duo appear to be making a lot of money until they meet a new prospect in the form of Jennifer Peterson. Jennifer seems like the goose that lays the golden eggs at first, but soon turns out to be the biggest mistake Marla and Fran have ever made. Marla and Fran get to know Jennifer through Doctor Amos, who informs them of a lonely wealthy retiree with no family. Jennifer seems like the perfect feat, and so, the duo get to work. With the help of Dr. Amos’ false testimony, Marla can get an emergency hearing to secure Jennifer’s guardianship. The false testimony presents Jennifer as a patient with dementia and unable to take care of herself.

After Marla obtains guardianship from Jennifer, she quickly places her in a home care facility. She also deprives Jennifer of her phone. Meanwhile, Fran begins to sell all of Jennifer’s assets and renovate her house to put it up for sale. Rummaging through her things, Marla finds the key to a safe in Jennifer’s house. Arriving at the bank and opening the safe, Marla discovers an envelope full of diamonds hidden inside. She doesn’t take long to grab those envelopes and put them in her pocket.

A lonely and helpless Jennifer Peterson turns out to be a rare catch until it is revealed to the viewer that she is the mother of a Russian Mafia boss. When the anonymous mafia boss learns the news of his mother’s disappearance, he sends his henchmen to investigate her whereabouts. Upon discovering that his mother has been placed in a home care facility, he orders his men to legally remove her from there. Mafia lawyer Dean Ericson meets Marla, threatens her, and offers up to $ 300,000 in return for Jennifer’s freedom. Marla refuses the amount and demands a ransom of up to $ 5 million to allow Jennifer out of the home care facility.

I Care A Lot movie review

Jennifer is swindled by Marla and Fran and placed in an assisted living facility.

A legal battle ensues and Marla again manages to keep Jennifer’s tutelage, further infuriating the Mafia boss. He then resorted to other illegal methods, sending three of his henchmen to break into the facility and force Jennifer out. This plan also proves unsuccessful and Jennifer remains inside the establishment. On the other hand, Marla asks Jennifer for her identity and that of her representative lawyer. While Marla fails to get anything out of her, Fran manages to unearth shady details from the past regarding Jennifer’s identity. Meanwhile, a bitter and anxious Marla asked her friend and the school principal to make things worse for Jennifer.

After watching the news about Dr Amos’ suspicious death, the alarmed duo move to another house. But their fears vanish soon enough when Marla is kidnapped and her friend is beaten until she passes out at home. Marla wakes up in a remote location where she is tortured and then interrogated by the mafia boss. She remains unperturbed and reveals to the boss of the Mafia that she knows her true identity. She tells him he’s Roman Lunyov. Marla then proposes a deal – $ 10 million for Jennifer’s freedom. Though impressed by Marla’s greed and bravery, Roman orders his men to get rid of her. She is then strapped to her car, unconscious, driving straight into a lake. But, she is against her conscience in the nick of time and survives. Marla quickly returns home and saves her bloodied partner Fran.

Instead of escaping to another location, the duo decide to take revenge and kidnap Roman. They track him down using his license plate. The duo kidnap Roman, drugs him, undress him, then leave him in the middle of nowhere. He was quickly spotted by a jogger and hospitalized. When he wakes up, he finds out that Marla has been approved for his guardianship. Marla makes the same deal again, but this time, however, Roman suggests raising the stake. He proposes a deal in which Marla and Roman will monopolize the trusteeship business in the United States.

Marla accepts the deal and soon becomes Roman’s business partner, as well as the CEO of the company. The film ends with Marla coming out of a TV interview and being shot by Mr. Feldstorm – a victim of Marla whose mother died under his guardianship. Marla bleeds to death in Fran’s arms as the credits roll.

I Care A Lot movie review

Roman offers a partnership to Marla in a twist ending.

Gaps

I Care A Lot has a lot of potential to comment on the predatory capitalism of today’s society. But he fails to tap that potential and provide substantive commentary or criticism through his murky and confusing narrative. The film tries to critique capitalism and the way the rich thrive on the foundations of the exploitation of the poor and the vulnerable. The film fails to justify its satire / comedy genre as it is little fun to find there. Add to that the inappropriate dialogue of “girl-power” and feminist boss, which might criticize the liberal idea of ​​feminism, but which gives the impression of giving the film undue credit. No one is the protagonist of the film. Any effort to criticize or satirize capitalism is diminished by the hasty presentation and poor execution of the film.

The final twist seems undeserved and illogical. The whole second half feels tonally depressed compared to the first half. The story is riddled with intrigue and becomes more and more difficult to digest as it progresses. It is at this moment that the film already takes a lot of liberties in the representation of real legalities and institutional functioning.

The script seems flawed. The suspension of disbelief required by the second half of the film is out of the ordinary. The viewer is supposed to accept the idea that two people who “play by the rules” can kidnap a veteran of the trafficking mafia without even suffering the repercussions. The dialogues of the film’s boss and Marla’s framing are at odds with the comment he’s trying to give. Between incompetent judges, incompetent mafia and morally bankrupt individuals, the film has no one you can root for.

Read: I care a lot with Rosamund Pike: what we know

Stellar performance

Despite the shortcomings of the script, the actors give commendable performances in the film. Peter Dinklage plays a believable and menacing mob boss, while Dianne excels at playing a sympathetic old woman. But it is the talented Rosamund Pike who is the real star of the film. She plays the role of a deliciously evil, charming, elegant, selfish and psychotic con artist with absolute panache. Pike is sensational in the role and justifies his Golden Globes nod. It is the charm and charisma that Rosamund brings to her role that gives water to redeem the quality of her character. Amid a cast of talented and committed actors, Rosamund is brilliant in her portrayal of morally depraved Marla Grayson. While this is a dastardly antagonistic role, viewers will be hard pressed not to be wowed by the actress’ performance.

I Care A Lot movie review

Rosamund Pike gives a stellar performance in the film, earning a Golden Globe nomination.

Other positives of the film include commendable cinematography and the overall look throughout its duration. The scenes are shot and edited with skill. The film is pleasant to watch. On top of that, the film still seems to borrow from potentially great and complex ideas, using them for failed attempts at satire and comedy.

I care a lot is currently streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Read: Movie Review: To All the Boys: Always and Forever


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