'I Care a Lot:’ I Wish I Cared More
by Brad Miller
"You think you’re good people. You’re not good people, trust me. There’s no such thing as good people."
Going into I Care a Lot, I didn't know what to expect. Almost like Christmas morning when you were a child and excited to open your brand new toy—only for it to be a brand new pair of socks.
Even with great acting performances, stellar cinematography and a killer concept, I found myself not satisfied.
An untrustworthy legal guardian Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike), takes advantage of elderly people and places them in retirement homes so she can take their assets.
As Good as It Gets
Regardless if you enjoyed the flick or not, one of the most undeniable positives of the film is Pike's performance. She sells her character so well and is quite believable in her role.
Even when doing dreadful acts, she doesn't come off as corny or cheesy unlike in other Netflix originals. She stands out even among other great performances, such as Peter Dinklage (Roman Lunyov), who serves as an intimidating antagonist.
Throughout the film, I found myself wanting to find out more about him. It became quite a disappointment to see that he had limited screen time. He simply was much more interesting than the protagonist.
Can I See That Again?
Quite a few scenes caught my eye throughout the feature, and I found myself rewinding from time to time just to watch a short 15-second clip. They don't reinvent the wheel, but there are moments where I had to take time to appreciate the camera work.
I Wish I Cared
Sadly, the film doesn't do much to make you enjoy the protagonist. She's a strong woman who’s intelligent and won't take anything from anybody. However, that is pretty much her entire character. Outside of forcing elderly folks to live in retirement homes and steal their money, that is.
I'm not invested in the character we're following around for most of the film, and I feel that it makes a few story beats fall short. Even worse, some of the decisions Grayson makes simply make no sense. For someone so intelligent, the audience will wonder, but why would she do that?
Grayson's actions in the movie could easily be considered villainess, but how can we support her without seeing any redeeming qualities?
In films like Joker (2019), we follow a guy while he diverges into madness. He becomes a bad guy, but many sympathize with his story because of what he went through.
In I Care a Lot, Grayson isn't given a backstory to explain why she does what she does. She's not a good person, and the film goes out of its way to communicate that to the audience.
However, how can I be emotionally affected positively or negatively when something happens to a character who isn't very enjoyable and deserves whatever trouble comes her way?
It's Going It's Going… it's gone
The concept of having someone con the system and take advantage of these elderly people is interesting, to say the least. There was much potential, and once the story gets going, it can be engaging.
You'll want to find out what's going to happen next, at least for a while. The pacing is nailed throughout the first third of the film, then gets a little messy toward the end.
Without diving into spoilers, many events that occurred towards the end just felt unnecessary and it ended up losing my interest.
From the cinematography to the acting performances, the technical side of I Care a Lot is a dream come true. With a few odd lines here and there, Pike and Dinklage's performances will be ones to remember.
I don't believe I Care a Lot does an excellent job of hooking and holding onto the audience. Because of how the main character is written, I don't care what happens, good or bad.
For a substantial section of the film, I honestly could not understand the motivation of our protagonist. Simply put, the situation became a little hard to believe.
For an intelligent person such as Grayson, it is tough to believe what she does at times. Ultimately that aspect ended up disengaging me from the film.
Even though the concept was fresh, the picture didn't execute the idea with perfection, and it shows.
I Care a Lot had the makings of an outstanding film that suffered from the protagonist's writing and not staying engaging throughout the product.
Verdict 6 out of 10 Stars
Now available on Netflix