Rosamund Pike’s Portrays A Lesbian Who Will Do Anything For Wealth In I Care A Lot
Netflix continues to churn out their award-winning films quicker than butter! I Care A Lot is their latest original release and is absolutely going to be honored at every ceremony. Centered around Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike), a brilliant scam artist who pretends to care for seemingly deserted elderly people and eventually throws them into a nursing home and sells their assets for her own gain. It’s quite a messed-up premise and is even more brutal on screen. Pike delivers an unusual character to the screen: A bad ass, extremely ruthless villainess who gives even the worst Disney villain a run for their money. Pike’s heartless Marla steals every scene while making you want to reach through your television to strangle her.
I Care A Lot is without question unnerving. We are first introduced to Marla as she swindles a man’s inheritance out from under him by snatching his wealthy, elderly mother into a nursing home while simultaneously selling everything the woman owns and pockets the cash – her son ends up with nothing and under Marla’s guidance and court order, isn’t allowed to see his mother – she eventually passes. We dive deeper into how slimy doctors, lawyers, and other professionals can be when Marla gains information on another woman, Jennifer Peterson (played by Academy Award winner, Dianne Wiest). The scam is simple: A wicked doctor (Alicia Witt) shares with Marla which alone, elderly person to target. Marla, her romantic and business partner Fran (Eiza González), bombard the elder at home accompanied by the police and force the person into a nursing facility – the act is even court approved by a morally bankrupt judge (Isiah Whitlock Jr). If the elder complains or says something is wrong, Marla has the nursing home or a psychiatric ward drug them into stupidity as she and Fran sell everything they can and trinkle money down the pipeline the others in on the gig.
The problem with old Miss Peterson is that she isn’t all alone after all. Her son Roman (Peter Dinklage) is a Russian mob boss who has hid his mother’s identity for her safety. Roman fails to have his unbelievably sexy lawyer (Chris Messina) get his mother out of Marla’s control, so he hires hitmen to kill Marla’s doctor colleague and nearly kills both Marla and Fran. Cunning and quick, Marla refuses to flee with Fran and instead pursues Roman on her own accord. Eventually she gains the upper hand and drugs Roman, leaving him bed ridden and as an unidentified person (as he has been flying under the radar like his mother), and the judge seals Marla as his legal guardian. Marla gives Roman two options: She’ll pull the plug on him to his death or he’ll give her ten million in cash. Roman persuades Marla to instead become business partners, as long as his mother is released into his care. Using his long list of clientele combined with her savvy for fuckery, Marla uses her elder abuse tactic to become a global phenomenon where she speaks to Liberal Arts colleges, is praised as a genius, and is one of the world’s most successful businesswomen – all under the guise that she cares for the elderly rather than abusing them. In karmic retribution, Marla finally gets her comeuppance when the man she screwed out of an inheritance in the beginning of the film murders her in front of Fran for her misdeeds.
Arguably the best part of the film is getting to see Pike portray a femme fatale…who is a lesbian… but the script never makes her sexuality a plot point. Thankfully we are seeing creators make LGBTQ characters whose storyline don’t focus on their sexuality but their actions, good or bad. I Care A Lot is a very hard pill to swallow – even if you aren’t elderly. You’re likely to be uncomfortable the entire time. Pike doesn’t have a triumphant redemption arc. In fact, her actions get worse as the movie progresses. She’s constantly screwing over Miss Peterson so much that you become physically ill believing this story has likely been taken from someone’s truth. Seeing Pike’s sudden demise is better than a popsicle on a hot day – we truly believe she’s getting away with it by the film’s last minute. To watch this vicious person succeed and be applauded by the media and be an “inspiration” to others will certainly make you rethink how much the wealthy elite have control over any narrative – not all may be what it appears.
Trust, it’s rare that you’d be rooting for a mob boss and murderer compared to Pike, but she delivers such a devilish performance that you kind of have to give her a round of bow at the end. Wiest and Pike aside, a standout comes in the form of Gonzalez’ Fran. Not only is she so beautiful you cannot stop staring at her, but she is never overlooked in her scenes. The chemistry the two female lovers play appears to be so sincere and genuine you’re almost watching a home movie in their scenes together. The film is an absolute must watch, but be prepared to be the most annoyed you’ve been since March 15th, 2020.
Oh, yeah, a big warning for anyone who has been plagued by the demon that is nicotine and successfully overcame it: Wear a patch before you watch, you’ll be thankful afterwards. Pike’s vape pen might as well be in billed as a co-star…
Check out the trailer for I Care A Lot, currently streaming on Netflix, below. Have you watched yet?!
Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors.
Source: The Daily Mail