A dark and nasty tale of a corrupt legal guardian who will stop at nothing in her pursuit of wealth and power.
Rosamund Pike as Marla Grayson with her bold pant suits and perfect bob, owns every room she walks into. She has a flourishing business running along with her girlfriend and couple of other equally immoral associates. According to her, success has no place for morality. Now Marla is ruthless but very process oriented. She gets the elderly into a care facility, isolates them from any relatives and takes control of all their assets through tedious legal orders and paperwork. Until one day a seemingly naïve old lady who is supposedly sitting on a lot of cash disturbs her elaborate setup.
Now this is where the film takes the route of typical thriller or a con film where you are hoping against but also waiting for the downfall of the scammer. But in this case, we have an anti-hero against another villain. Everybody is far from any humanity here. So who do you really root for? Well thanks to the gripping performance, we are unwillingly siding with Marla.
The first half is deeply compelling. Discovering the elaborate scam, witnessing the marvelous pretense of Marla when she says ‘all I do is care’ and then cringing at the possibility of such dreadful loopholes in the guardian system, all of it keeps you thoroughly engaged. The second half somehow becomes far too ambitious and absurd. People start dying and waking up from the dead as per their convenience. It reaches a high and then reaches a plateau, not knowing when to stop. Even the end is sort of an overkill.
Pike is in top form. Bringing back the terror of her Oscar nominated ‘Gone Girl’. How swiftly she moves from fake empathy to heartless robbery sends some serious chills down your spine. Sadly her character is very one-dimensional. We know nothing about her beyond the fact that she wants to be really really rich. A little backstory would have helped. There are other great actors also in supporting cast like Peter Dinklage and Dianne Wiest who shine in whatever time they get.
I Care a Lot is an exaggerated yet not entirely unreal take on American capitalism that one might have to take with a pinch of salt. It is entertaining nevertheless.
Going with 3.5/5 Cutting for this one.