We all know what happens in films with the classic ‘good versus evil’ themes, but what do you expect in a story that’s basically ‘evil versus evil’? Director J Blakeson explores this possibility in the film “I Care A Lot”, where Rosamund Pike takes on Peter Dinklage.
Pike plays Marla Grayson, a ruthless white-collar con-woman, who legally forces old rich people into a care home and takes over their assets. Things go great for her ‘care-taking’ business until she messes with the wrong old woman. The ‘badder’ guys led by Roman Lunyov (Peter Dinklage) vow to make ‘life uncomfortable’ for her.
The first 90 minutes of ‘I Care A Lot’ is gripping, dark and a delight to watch. But things go downhill in the last 29 minutes, they get juvenile, silly and convenient. It’s like having a four course meal, where the soup, appetizer and entree is great, but the dessert is so mediocre that is brings down the mood of the entire dinner date. The first half is clever, the viewer gets an interesting front-seat view of Grayson’s hustle, which involves gullible oldsters, unscrupulous doctors and an unsuspecting legal system. However, the second-half is unable to live up to the expectations the beginning breeds into the viewer’s mind.
Rosamund Pike is brilliant as the cold-blooded vicious Grayson, who preys on helpless senior-citizens and would stoop to any level to make money. Dianne Wiest who plays Jennifer Peterson, the ‘wrong’ rich old lady Marla messes with, is fun in the few scenes she has, even if she is drugged out in most of them. Peter Dinklage provides an amusing contrast to Grayson’s grey shades, making it hard for the viewer to pick a side, since both of them are exploitative vultures. But a top-notch cast cannot save a film from a doddering and underwhelming climax. It was 20 minutes too long.
‘I Care A Lot’ is like watching a person with multiple-personality disorder (MPD), because the first half felt like it was written by an experienced crime writer, the rest seemed like an amateur was tasked to take over finish the script because the original author lost interest. I saw it with my dad, who was extremely excited initially and didn’t even want to take a dinner break, but once the film was over, he exclaimed “pah! this film is a flop”. Well, don’t know about dad, but it’s a 6/10 from me.
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