On Feb. 28, Rosamund Pike was awarded a Golden Globe for her performance as Marla Grayson in J Blakeson’s I Care a Lot. The movie follows Grayson, a corrupt legal guardian who claims guardianship over the elderly before moving them into assisted living facilities, all the while draining them of their estates and paying herself with the profits. While embracing her self-assigned title of “lioness,” Grayson accidentally preys on the mother of a dangerous gangster, turning her pristine life on its head through a thrilling set of threats and murders.
The film is both dark and comedic, offering major insight into the corrupt nature of our legal system, and how certain individuals abuse it, while delivering an intense narrative that captures its audience. The film starts with Pike’s voiceover, stating, “Look at you. Sitting there. You think you’re good people. You’re not good people. Trust me. There’s no such thing as good people.” After calling the audience out, she goes on to demonstrate her point. By the end of the film, she proves to be as corrupt as the ex-head of the Russian mafia, when they agree on a ceasefire and become partners in crime. Pike’s character also jars the audience, filling them with a fear that strategically diverges into both hatred and respect.
Following her 2014 performance in Gone Girl, Pike falls right into stride portraying Marla Grayson. The characters overlap a bit, as she manages to be both hardcore and loving, passionate and wicked, vicious and caring. Further than this, Pike takes on a role that proves again women should not be pigeon-holed into protagonist roles that are merely innocent and virtuous. Pike owns her anti-hero, leaving a path of destruction without using her sexuality or body to overcome patriarchal boundaries and prove that she never loses. Why does she frustrate you so bad, John Doe? Because you know you wouldn’t be able to beat her!
Peter Dinklage also stars in the filmas Roman Lunyov, the gangster previously mentioned whose mother is targeted by Grayson. The start of his performance is very corny and underwhelming, but builds up to be powerful and worthy of the Game of Thrones actor. Unfortunately, the one plot point in the film that troubled me was Lunyov’s decision to attempt killing Grayson through drowning her in a car. Blakeson took a very uncreative shortcut here, including a stereotypical scene where everyone knew Grayson would escape. No protagonists die in sinking cars! And aren’t gangsters more creative than this?
Blakeson’s ending was truly breathtaking; one of the best conclusions to a film I have watched in ages. Both satisfying and jaw-dropping, the finale alone makes the movie worthy of a watch. Alongside that, missing a personal war between Pike and Dinklage is the wrong move! Overall, Blakeson’s film cleverly traverses many of the injustices served up by our legal system today, mainly focusing on the ways in which the rich never play fair. Marla Grayson makes us, as audience members, truly ask ourselves: “How far would you go to get rich?”
‘I Care A Lot’ is available to stream on Netflix.
By Erik Mathews