I Care A Lot (2020) - 5/10
Updated: Apr 25, 2021
Who doesn’t love a good revenge movie. This one starts with Death in Vegas playing over the opening montage of slomo care staff drugging the elderly whilst Rosamund Pike delivers some righteous monologue. Marla Grayson (Pike) is a cold calculating career carer with a sharp haircut, sharp mind and a ruthless streak. She’s pretty vile. Part of a diabolical system that’s using the elderly as commodities to be bled dry before they die. Business is good until she meets Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest). She’s wealthy, elderly, in good health, no family... a ‘cherry’. Marla is appointed by the judge via Jennifers corrupt doctor to take her case. To look after her, to be her legal guardian. Pretty screwed up... and frankly highly frustrating to watch. Don’t worry though, Marla has just bitten off more than she can chew. It’s slick and... a bit soulless. With a slightly cheap American sheen that just grates and feels totally false. If it’d been done with a bit more grit, it could’ve really packed a punch. Anyway, poor Jennifer is whisked out of her house. You can sense the boiling vitriol in Jennifer’s eyes as she’s given the tour of the new care home (prison). It’s the same sense we get as Marla and her assistant Fran begin stripping the assets of Jennifer’s life. It’s been a while since I’ve wanted someone on screen to get such a thrashing as Marla. Putting her in a scene from Hostage (a film I hate) would be far too good for her. This is not the smartest movie, in fact it’s quite generic, but it’s opening moves fast and it’s gripping with some nice set up as the loose ends of Jennifer’s life are revealed. Enter Roman (Peter Dinklage) another career criminal, this one being a human trafficking piece of shit, also Jennifer’s unknown son. This throws up an interesting dynamic, with the power struggle now in play. One of money, of gender, of underestimating little old ladies. “Jennifer tell me who you are”... “I’m the worst mistake you’ll ever make”, delivered by Weist with the most wicked smile since Nicholson. Make no mistake there are no nice people here, which I guess is what makes it mildly enjoyable to watch the carnage unravel. In short, despite its faults, the opening half does a reasonable job in creating a premise that you’re desperate to see resolved. Good luck with that. Sadly, instead it falls tragically flat with both sides playing out their bland stereotypes. It’s not terrible, it’s brain dead far fetched fun. Pike is okay, Dinklage is better, Weiss is under used, as it descends into implausible attack and counter attack oneupmanship, with an intrusive (albeit quite nice in places) score attempting to build some tension to the paper thin characters. It plods after an hour to a largely unsatisfactory finale. Who doesn’t love a good revenge movie... shame this is a bad one.