Review: I Care a Lot (2020)

I Care a Lot (2020)

Directed by: J Blakeson | 118 minutes | thriller, comedy, crime | Actors: Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage, Eiza González, Dianne Wiest, Chris Messina, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Macon Blair, Alicia Witt, Damian Young, Nicholas Logan, Liz Eng, Celeste Oliva, Georgia Lyman, Moira Driscoll

Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike) has found a particularly lucrative way to enrich herself. She acts as a curator for elderly people who are legally incapacitated and who are taken to a care home. She sells their house and possessions, while the elder in question languishes drugged in a small room. In the opening scene, we get a glimpse of her ice-cold legal action, much to the anger and frustration of a son who sees his mother disappear into an institution against his will. His out-of-control behavior is all the more reason to appoint a trustee. Marla doesn’t do all this alone, she has an assistant, Fran (Eiza Gonzálex), who is also her lover. In addition, the duo also receives help from doctor friend Karen Amos (Alicia Witt), who is only too happy to label patients who have little or no defects as seriously demented cases, and from the director of the care home Sam Rice (Damian Young) who subsequently treats the elderly. kinda captive. Naive Judge Lomax (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) has great faith in Marla and passes sentence after sentence, appointing Marla as trustee. Marla makes it immediately clear in business voiceovers that this is a mistake.

Through doctor Amos, Marla is offered an opportunity, the single Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest). Never married, no children, had a good job at a bank and so apparently a chicken that can easily be plucked bald. When Marla finds the key to a bank vault in Jennifer’s house, it turns out that Jennifer had hidden several million worth of diamonds there. Then the showy lawyer Dean Erickson (a shining supporting role of Chris Messina) shows up, who offers a lot of money to release Jennifer. Suspicious, Marla and Fran investigate and it soon becomes apparent that Jennifer is not as innocent as she seems, because the local boss of the Russian mafia, Roman Lunyov (Peter Dinklage) is also very interested in her well-being.

‘I Care a Lot’ begins as a biting satire about the failure of the American justice system and underlines how easily unscrupulous people can take advantage of vulnerable elderly people. Pike knows how to put down her character nice and vile, almost without any sympathetic trait. She knows how to make her interesting. From her prism she follows the American dream and describes every criticism as a personal attack by men on a young, strong and successful woman. Gradually, the film takes on more thriller elements, as the mystery surrounding Jennifer Peterson deepens. Director J. Blakeson, who also wrote the screenplay himself, knows how to keep the reins firmly in his hands for a long time and with striking characterizations, pitch-black humor and strong acting, he lifts the film to a high level. And then, after about two-thirds of the runtime, it goes horribly wrong and the film degenerates into a series of increasingly escalating implausible escapes. The last part of the film doesn’t match the previous one at all and it seems that the makers have run through their material and then have just finished it during a nightly brainstorm.

Unbelievably a shame: the cat-and-mouse game between Dinklage and Pike, two top actors in form, was thoroughly enjoyable and the satirical tone struck a balance between entertainment and a serious indictment of the American obsession with making money at all costs. The final scene makes another U-turn, which on the surface seems to offer some sort of satisfying ending, but which – if you think about it longer – connects an even sadder conclusion to American society. All in all, ‘I Care a Lot’ has a lot of elements for a rock-solid film, but unfortunately the film collapses like a plum pudding in the last part.

Comments are closed.