Rosamund Pike shines in I Care a Lot, delivering plenty of Amy Dunne vibes. It’s an uncomfortable watch, for sure, and you find yourself a bit dissatisfied and without someone to root for.
The trailers for I Care a Lot truly don’t prepare you for what you’re about to witness. I’ve been a huge fan of Rosamund Pike ever since her career-defining performance in Gone Girl. We all know she was robbed of that Best Actress Oscar, but that’s simply a topic for another day. Let’s talk about how good she is in I Care a Lot, which is an intense watch since it makes you question the average person’s moral code in this world. I feel it could’ve been executed better in some ways and I found myself being genuinely upset with many of the decisions in the film. I guess it’s more of a credit to the writing and direction, but I’ll go into detail, since it’s pretty brutal.
I Care a Lot tells the story of a legal guardian who’s a con artist and wrongs people of their livelihood by falsifying information about them in order to put them in a care center, where she then robs them of their assets. She finds herself in life-threatening situation, however, when she tries with an elderly woman who happens to be related to a mobster.
Before I discuss further, let it be known that I enjoyed this movie for what it was. I can’t say I loved it and it’s without fault, but it is pretty well-made. The thing is, it pissed me off in more ways than one and I’m sure many people who have seen it will share this same sentiment. Basically, in every movie you watch, there’s always someone to root for and someone to root against. I found myself not really rooting for anyone. Well, in some ways, you kind of want Marla Grayson (Pike) to get what she deserves for what she’s done for so long and she’s finally, maybe reaping what she has sown. Then again, the people who are after her are also not very good people, so there’s an obvious conflict here.
So, in a way, it’s more of a personal thing for me rather than an actual problem with the movie, if that makes sense. I think the message was definitely delivered successfully, so in hindsight, the director, J Blakeson, did his job. That being said, as mentioned, I was pretty upset for the majority of the movie and I believe it’s with good reason. The ending doesn’t make it any better. Something very crucial happens at the end and in reality, it’s a terrible situation. But, at the same time, is it? You know the person involved is going to be painted as the bad guy moving forward all because of what he did. However, we know who Marla is and she has shown her true colors over and over throughout the entire film. Again, it’s karma, but you know not everyone will see it that way.
It’s also worth noting the film is described as a dark comedy, but I never really found it funny. The majority of the movie, I was more shocked and angry at what was happening rather than laughing at any of the situations going on.
Pike doesn’t make it easy to root for her. Similar to her character in Gone Girl, Amy Dunne, she’s very unlikable but also charismatic and sometimes convincing. I just feel I Care a Lot wasn’t executed as well as Gone Girl, though. There’s more characters in that movie which make the overall plot a bit more interesting. In this film, it’s literally Pike as Marla carrying the majority of it on her back.
The only other interesting character is Dianne Wiest as Jennifer Peterson. She’s somewhat of a mystery, honestly, and I feel her story never truly gets fulfilled. You sort of have an idea of who she really is and her ties to some gangsters. However, that’s really it. You don’t learn about what she herself has done and how she’s in the situation she’s in. I mean, yeah, you learn about her family and who they are, but I wish she was developed a bit more. She was more of a pawn used in order to build up the other characters.
Peter Dinklage is also a bit interesting, but I feel he’s played this sort of character before, so he never quite sold me with his performance either. I believe he shines in other roles when he’s forced to do something unique. For example, his role as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones is forever set in stone as one of television’s best. Then again, that’s more of a script problem rather than an actor problem. Everyone else is pretty dispensable, if you ask me. No one else feels very important. I was interested in Chris Messina’s character at the start, but he only shows up for a bit and that’s it. So, it was a wasted opportunity.
Overall, besides Pike, everything else about this movie could’ve been executed a bit better. From the utilization of the characters, to how the story was conveyed and explained, I just feel it never reaches its potential. It’s watchable and enjoyable in many aspects. However, it made me overwhelmingly angry more than once and I’m not a fan of every creative decision made. Then again, that’s how I feel and, from the director’s perspective, he more than likely accomplished exactly what he set out to do.