I Care A Lot is a black comedy attempting to comment on capitalism through the story of legal guardianship. Rosamund Pike plays Marla Greyson an intensely unlikeable character with zero redeeming qualities and no clear motivation for her evilness. She has a network of doctors and nursing homes that she uses to take legal guardianship over people and put them in assisted living facilities. She has hoodwinked a judge into the scheme, though we never find out how truly aware he is of the con job Greyson is pulling. Rosamund Pike is most famous for her role in Gone Girl, where she was a con artist determined to destroy the life of another individual. Can she play a likable or honest character?
I nearly abandoned the movie after about twenty minutes and continued to debate abandoning it throughout. There is no relief to the anger in the pit of your stomach that this movie will generate at every moment. Greyson is pure evil, is never defeated, and overcomes all obstacles with ease. Normally if you are trying to comment on an industry or societal wrong you give some indication of a better way forward and that is absent from this film.
Peter Dinklage enters the film as Roman Lunyov, a mob boss. Your choice of who to root for is left as a con artist who is taking advantage of individuals or a mob boss. Somehow the mob boss comes across as the better of the two despite reviewing the polaroids of young female drug mules in one scene. Dinklage is scary in this role. I would expect a mob boss to be a bit more capable than Greyson’s character. The battle is more evenly matched than I would expect. Still, it is not interesting because you are forced to root for the lesser of two evils.
If this film was trying to point out the evils of capitalism, it failed. If it was trying to point out issues in the legal system with people towards the end of their lives, it provided no alternatives. Black comedies need to contain some release or leave the viewers with a new perspective. I Care a Lot lacks all of this and is a struggle to get through.